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Articles by J.K. Northcutt
Total Records ( 7 ) for J.K. Northcutt
  J.K. Northcutt , D.R. Jones , K.D. Ingram , A. Hinton , Jr. and M.T. Musgrove
  Total aerobic bacteria, molds/yeasts, coliforms and pseudomonads in the air in three shell egg processing operations (in-line, off-line and mixed operations) were determined using MicroBio MB2 Air Samplers. Sites were sampled from each facility on three different days (replication) during the same week. Four air samples (1000 L each) were drawn from each sampling site on a given day. Sampling sites, included areas in or near the following on-site locations: hen house (in-line and mixed operations), farm transition room (in-line and mixed operations), egg washers, egg dryer, packer heads, post-processing cooler, nest-run cooler (off-line and mixed operations), loading dock and dry storage. Type of operation (in-line, off-line or mixed), sampling site and the interaction between operation and site had a significant effect on the number of total aerobic bacteria, molds/yeasts, coliforms and pseudomonads recovered (P < 0.05). Highest counts for total aerobic bacteria (5.9 log10 cfu/ml air), molds/yeasts (4.0 log10 cfu/ml air) and coliforms (2.5 log10 cfu/ml air) were found in the hen house. Highest counts for pseudomonads were found in the hen house (3.2 log10 cfu/ml air) and behind the egg washer (3.5 log10 cfu/ml air). Lowest counts for total aerobic bacteria (2.5 log10 cfu/ml air) and molds/yeast (2.7 log10 cfu/ml air) were found in the post-processing cooler. Few samples in the post-processing coolers, nest-run coolers, loading docks and dry storage areas tested positive for coliforms (0/36, 2/24, 1/36 and 0/36, respectively) and pseudomonads (1/36, 2/24, 5/36 and 6/36, respectively). Data gathered during this study has been useful in identifying the sources and levels of airborne contaminates in commercial shell egg processing facilities.
  J.K. Northcutt , D.R. Jones and M.T. Musgrove
  Total aerobic bacteria, molds/yeasts, E. coli and Enterobacteriaceae in the air during the commercial production and processing of Japanese quail were enumerated at twelve different sites. Production-related sampling sites included the breeder and grow-out houses along with the hatchery setter, hatcher, egg room and chick room. Processing-related sampling sites included the hanging/stunning area, scalding/defeathering room, evisceration line, chiller exit, further processing area and shipping room. Sampling site had a significant effect on the log10 counts for total aerobic bacteria, molds/yeasts, E. coli and Enterobacteriaceae and (P < 0.0001). Moreover, significant correlation was found between airborne bacteria counts and both environmental temperature and humidity (P < 0.05). During production, highest counts for total aerobic bacteria (8.1 log10 cfu/ml air), molds/yeasts (3.6 log10 cfu/ml air), E. coli (1.9 log10 cfu/ml air) and Enterobacteriaceae (2.3 log10 cfu/ml air) occurred in the grow-out house. Lowest production-related counts for total aerobic bacteria (3.5 log10 cfu/ml air), molds/yeasts (2.5 log10 cfu/ml air) and Enterobacteriaceae (2.0 log10 cfu/ml air) occurred in the chick room at the hatchery. At the processing facility, highest counts for total aerobic bacteria (6.8 log10 cfu/ml air), E. coli (1.4 log10 cfu/ml air) and Enterobacteriaceae (1.5 log10 cfu/ml air) occurred in the areas where quail are hung/stunned and scalded/defeathered. E. coli was not found at any of the sampling sites in the hatchery (setter, hatcher, egg room, chick room) or at the chiller exit, further processing area or shipping room at the processing facility. Data gathered during this study may be useful in identifying the sources and levels of airborne contaminates in commercial production and processing of quail so that effective intervention practices may be established or strengthened.
  D.P. Smith and J.K. Northcutt
  The bloody, undercooked appearance of fully cooked chicken causes complaints and product rejection by consumers. This defect has been described as a persistent problem with bone-in chicken. Many studies have addressed pink meat or bone darkening, but none have studied the red discoloration problem. Therefore, constituents found in the broiler carcass (breast meat, blood and bone marrow) were combined in an external system to determine the effect of blood and marrow on inducing red discoloration. Three replicate trials were conducted where broiler breast meat was combined with: nothing (control); blood; bone marrow; or, both. An identical set of samples was prepared with added marinade (water, salt and phosphate). Duplicates of each treatment were prepared, placed in glass tubes and cooked. CIE L* (lightness) and a* (redness) values were determined on raw preparations and on cooked meat. Blood, marrow and the combination of both produced significantly (P < 0.05) darker and redder raw and cooked breast meat. Blood contributed more to the darkness of raw meat, while marrow contributed more to the darkness of cooked meat and to the redness of both raw and cooked meat. The blood-marrow combination produced darker raw and cooked meat than either ingredient alone, but the combination did not produce redder meat than marrow alone. Marination resulted in darkened raw breast meat, but had little effect on meat darkness or redness when blood, marrow, or both were added. Marrow was determined to be the most important component for inducing red discoloration of breast meat.
  D.P. Smith and J.K. Northcutt
  Consumers and customers typically reject fully-cooked chicken that has a red/bloody appearance even if the product is otherwise safe and wholesome. Unfortunately, chicken parts and whole bird products may exhibit this problem on a consistent basis. This study was conducted to intentionally induce a red/bloody appearance in fully-cooked chicken to create a model for studying methods to control this defect. Five trials were conducted using bony marrow (harvested from the interior of epiphyseal end caps) from either fresh femurs (three trials) or frozen femurs (two trials) that were prepared and placed in contact with chopped broiler breast meat. Meat and marrow were packed into glass tubes and heated to one of three endpoint temperatures (74, 79, or 85oC). Five replicate tubes were prepared for each endpoint temperature in each trial (n = 75). After cooking and immediate cooling, CIE lightness (L*) and redness (a*) was determined for both the surface of the meat adjacent to the bony marrow and the surface of the marrow. The surfaces of the meat from samples prepared with fresh marrow were darker (lower L* values) and redder (higher a* values) than control meat surface samples. Each higher endpoint cook temperature resulted in a significantly (P < 0.05) lighter and less red sample. The meat exposed to frozen marrow was affected by temperature to a lesser extent as lightness increased only at 79oC and redness values did not significantly decrease from 79 to 85oC. Lightness of the marrow surface was unaffected by freezing or endpoint cook temperature. Marrow surface redness was decreased as cook temperature increased and freezing appeared to decrease the redness of samples cooked at either 74 or 79oC. Bony marrow was effective at inducing a red, bloody discoloration in breast meat samples. Higher cook temperatures and freezing femurs (before harvesting marrow) improved meat lightness and redness values, although not to control values.
  D.R. Jones and J.K. Northcutt
  Shell egg processing facilities in the U. S. were surveyed for common production practices and water use. Results were compiled and analyzed for frequency and significance via chi-square analysis. Of the respondents, 65.8 % utilized wells as their primary source of water. Furthermore, 19.2 % of the facilities discharged water to city sewers. Over half of the facilities processed 7 d each week with 8 to 9 h shifts (P < 0.05). There was a similar distribution of in-line, off-line and mixed operations represented in the responses. Two-thirds of the operations were dual washer systems with about half being plumbed separately. Over 90 % of the operations performed daily sanitation. Most facilities did not attempt to recycle water from their process. Fifty percent of the respondents utilized processing lines that are 5-15 yr old. The age of the processing line, number of processing days each week, size of facility and type of operation did not have a significant effect on water use.
  D.R. Jones , M.T. Musgrove , A.B. Caudill , P.A. Curtis and J.K. Northcutt
  A study was conducted to examine the effects of cool water washing on the microbial quality of shell eggs. Six dual tank wash water temperature schemes were examined for their ability to reduce naturally occurring aerobic bacteria and inoculated Salmonella Enteritidis (SE). The wash water schemes were: T1= 48.9oC; T2 = 48.9oC, 23.9oC; T3 = 48.9oC, 15.6oC; T4 = 23.9oC; T5 = 15.6oC; and T6 = 23.9oC, 15.6oC. All wash water tanks were maintained from 10.5-11.5 pH throughout the study. Eggs were exposed to the wash water temperature schemes in a pilot egg washer with recirculating wash water tanks. The total amount of time eggs were exposed to the wash water combinations was 60 s. Following washing, all eggs were sprayed with a 48.9oC, 200 ppm chlorine rinse solution. Eggs were stored and sampled for 9 wks. External aerobic populations were lowest for T1 (typical U.S. wash water configuration), followed by T2 and T3. Aerobic surface contamination was greatest in T5 eggs. All treatments reduced SE levels in a similar manner as detected by shell and membrane emulsion and egg contents pools after enrichment. Commercial application of cool water shell egg processing will be investigated to determine the potential of this technology to enhance the safety and quality of shell eggs.
  D.P. Smith , J.K. Northcutt and M.T. Musgrove
  Processors are washing carcasses with one or more inside-outside bird washers (IOBW) to comply with the zero tolerance for visible feces regulation mandated by the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service. A study was conducted to determine the effect of an IOBW on total aerobic bacteria, E. coli, Campylobacter, and Salmonella recovered from uncontaminated (control), contaminated, and possibly cross contaminated broiler carcasses at two different IOBW water pressure settings. In each of three trials, 12 commercially processed carcasses, divided into two groups each containing two control carcasses, two carcasses contaminated with 0.1g cecal contents (inoculated with Campylobacter and Salmonella), and two carcasses uncontaminated and placed adjacent to contaminated birds during washing (to determine cross contamination) were prepared (n=36). Whole carcass rinses were conducted on carcasses before contamination and washing, then again after washing. Carcasses were washed with an in-line commercial IOBW set at 140 birds per minute for a 5 sec dwell time and either 276 or 552 kPa (40 or 80 PSI) water pressure. Counts of total bacteria, E. coli, Campylobacter, or Salmonella were not significantly affected (P< 0.05) by contamination with feces, by cross-contamination, or by IOBW pressure. The overall effect of washing was a slight but significant reduction in total aerobic bacteria (4.9 to 4.8) and E. coli (3.2 to 3.0) log cfu/ml rinsate. The IOBW decreased the incidence of Campylobacter from 22/36 positive carcasses (14 positive incoming carcasses plus 8 inoculated carcasses) to 1/36 positives, while Salmonella incidence decreased from 12/36 contaminated (inoculated) carcasses to 3/36 positive carcasses after washing. The IOBW removed carcass contamination to levels equivalent with uncontaminated controls without cross contaminating other carcasses. The incidence of Campylobacter was decreased, as was Salmonella to a lesser extent. Small reductions of bacterial numbers were noted for total bacteria and E. coli.
 
 
 
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