Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Food Science (MS)

Degree Level



Food Science


Steven Ricke

Committee Member

Benny Bench

Second Committee Member

Robert Apple


Poultry Chillers, Poultry Pre-chillers, Pre-chillers, Whole Bird Carcass Rinses


Upon entering a poultry processing facility, birds are already contaminated with a variety of microorganisms. It is the responsibility of the processor to reduce these numbers to deliver a wholesome product to customers. This is not an easy task as there are ample opportunities for further microbial contamination. Some of these opportunities are obvious. For example, any areas where contaminants could be washed off one bird and onto another are always an area for concern, i.e. the scalder or the chiller. There are numerous opportunities for contamination that are not so obvious. These incidents of contamination are not necessarily due to the process itself, but could possibly be more related to the management of the process or a lack of understanding of how each part of the process affects the entire system. This includes practices related to water usage, water content, temperature management, and chemical usage. This review will describe common practices from live hang to post chill that could possibly be contributing to elevated microbial counts on whole bird carcasses (WBCR) at post chill. This will give a better understanding of environmental factors, practices, and situations within the processing facility that could be fostering or encouraging increased levels of bacterial contamination. Identifying these areas will enable processors to take a more informed examination of each facility with the intention of reducing microbial populations on broiler carcasses.