Meat, fish, and poultry technology
BY SHIVANI SINGH
PhD RESEARCH SCHOLAR
• Poultry industry in India
• Microbiology of poultry meat
• Spoilage factors
• Layout of poultry processing industry
Poultry industry in India
• India is an agrarian country where more than 65% population
lives in 5.8 lakhs villages wherein about 75% people have
their own livestock. Thus, livestock rearing constitutes an
• In global meat production poultry meat is taking the second
place after pork. Due to its widespread availability and
popularity and its mostly very competitive production cost,
poultry meat has an increasing share as a raw material in
• In India goat, sheep, pig, buffalo and cattle meat constitutes
• India has the world’s largest population of livestock. India
produces around 5.3 million MT of Meat and 75 billion eggs
• Poultry is a highly vertically integrated industry in India and
matches the efficiency levels of many western countries.
Government of India has taken steps for modernization of
municipal abattoirs to provide safe and hygienic meat to
Spoilage is the process in which food deteriorates and produced
undesirable changes in the product and becomes unsuitable for
A number of different types of microorganisms are responsible for the
spoilages of meat. When they breaks different components of any food
items, acids and other waste products are created. Sometimes the
microbes itself may or may not be harmful but the metabolites or
waste items produced may impart unpleasant taste and colour to our
food whichis harmfultohuman'shealth.
Microbiology of poultry meat
• Poultry meat like meat of other animals is also susceptible to contamination by
various sources. Contamination of skin and lining of the body cavity take place
during various processing operations. The organisms of great importance in
poultry are Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter jejuni. Several Gram negative
psychotropic bacteria viz., Pseudomonas, Acenitobacter and Flavobacterium have
also been isolated from poultry carcasses. Ground turkey also may carry fecal
streptococci. It is important to freeze the poultry fast in order to keep it in good
condition for several months. Freezing further reduces the number of
microorganisms in the poultry meat provided the temperature is maintained quite
• Most salmonellas found on poultry meat are non host-specific and are considered
capable of causing human food poisoning. The thermophilic campylobacters are
mainly C. jejuni, which is the principal cause of human campylobacteriosis, but
other, so-called ‘campylobacteria’ also occur frequently, and include species of
Salmonella & Campylobacter spp
• For processed poultry, both the proportion of positive samples and the number of
organisms present per unit sample is greater for Campylobacter than it is for
Salmonella, reflecting the greater colonizing ability and higher level of intestinal
• However, both types of bacteria include strains that are invasive in poultry and
can penetrate internal organs or deep tissues of the bird, where the organisms
may be less readily destroyed by cooking. On the surface, campylobacter
contamination tends to be relatively high, up to 10⁹cfu/carcass. Since the infective
doseisonlya few hundredviablecells,illnesscaneasilyresult from handlingraw
poultry without suitable hygiene precautions, and is a potential hazard for new
• Salmonellas survive well in the environment, but campylobacters appear less
well-adapted to survival outside the alimentary tract of warm-blooded animals.
Also, growth only occurs under conditions of high moisture, reduced oxygen and
• From the practical viewpoint, campylobacters can persist as contaminants of
poultry products throughout the entire supply chain and remain detectable by
cultural methods. A key factor in their survival may be their attachment to, or
entrapment in, poultry tissues during carcass processing. In this situation, their
resistance to adverse conditions, like that of other bacteria, is significantly
increased. Thus, the organisms can survive on carcasses during processes such
as scalding, washing and water chilling, that might otherwise remove or destroy
them As a cause of human food poisoning, this is not among the more dangerous
pathogens. It is, however, a spore-forming organism and some strains produces
spores that are unusually heat-resistant. Therefore, unlike vegetative bacterial
cells, the spores are not necessarily destroyed by normal cooking and may
subsequently germinate and outgrow to hazardous levels, if post-cooking storage
is inadequate. In fact, most outbreaks involve strains that produce the more heat-
1. Receiving: Once the crates of poultry arrive at the processing plant, they are transported
to the shackling area via conveyors and then placed in holding cages or modular bins to
preventthemfrom injuring other birds and for proper aircirculation.
2. Slaughtering: In the US, electrical stunning and the use of carbon dioxide are the most
common methods to make broilers unconscious or render birds insensible prior to this
process. Often, slaughtering is done manually by severing the jugular vein at the
ventrolateral base of the bird’s head (sometimes referred to as the modified kosher
3. Scalding: Using hot water set to 53°C, the birds are scalded for 2 to 3 minutes. It’s
important to avoid over and under scalding so that the outer layer of skin and feathers
are completely and smoothly removed.
4. De-feathering: Poultry pluckers (or pickers) remove the loose feathers from the scalding
process. Also, the carcasses are passed by through flame to remove the filoplumes or
5. Evisceration: Throughout the process, meat inspectors conduct thorough visual inspections to
spot bruising, fecal matter, and diseases. While the remaining viscera are discarded, the
liver and gizzard are retained; and the latter is also cut, opened, and cleaned. The lungs,
kidneys, trachea, esophagus, and crop are all removed manually, while the head is removed
usingaV-shaped knife or manually aswell.
6. Washing: Poultry carcasses are spray-washed with cold water to remove blood, loose tissues,
and other foreign substances from the surface. If these aren’t removed, contamination may
7. Chilling: Rapid cooling, done in less than 40 minutes, prevents microbial growth. Also, this
process iskey to enabling themaximumshelf life of thefinal product.
8. Packaging: Poultry carcasses are weighed on a pan balance and divided into parts using a
knife. The parts are then packed and wrapped, with the legs and giblets in separate trays.
After wrapping, inspections are done to verify that the final product is up to par with
9. Freezing and preservation: These steps, along with safe food storage, are done to prevent
spoilage and deterioration caused bymicrobes andfat oxidation.
• SELECTION OF SUITABLE SlTE
• Poultry processing plant should be situated nearby the poultry production area to minimize
the transport cost and bird mortality. Sometime it is not possible because market demands
fresh meatand poultry requiresto beslaughtered nearer to themarket.
• There should beadequate supplyof water and electricity.
• The plantshould bewell connected byroad and if possible byrail also.
• The locality of the plant should have sufficient labors to manage, operate and maintain the
• There should be ample area for ancillary buildings, waste disposal systems, loading and
unloading area and future expansion etc. According to general rule, buildings should
occupy about 20%of thetotal ground area.
• The plant should be situated at a distance from any existing industry to avoid
contamination of thepoultry from theodors, fumes, smoke,sawdustetc.
• The ground of the site should have good load-bearing characteristics to support the
building and should havea gentleslope to support adequatedrainage.
• The proposal to build a poultry processing plant should be discussed with concerned local
authorities to seek theirapproval.
Layout in Poultry Processing INDUSTRY
• DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
• A poultry processor must look into proper design and construction to maintain
high standard of hygiene and sanitation of plant and product. Good design helps
different activities to keep apart, keeping area clean and prevent cross
contamination. Following points should be looked into while designing and
1. Building: Good design include separation of clean process from semi clean and
duty process, and proper storage of by-products. These facilities will permit
2. Ceiling: It should be made from materials that are smooth, durable,
impervious, easy to clean, light coloured, not easily damaged by condensation,
capable of holding ventilation grills, pipe works. High apex roof in hot areas
andbuildingwith sloppingroof inhumidareas are consideredbest.
3) Walls: The walls should be smooth, durable ,easy to clean, non flaking, light coloured.
The walls would allow pipe work to pass through. Materials for construction of
outside wall should be selected considering the climate and environment of the
site.Outsidewallshouldbemadeof low absorber if materiallikefiredbrick,marble
or other local stone. Inside wall should be glazed for easy cleaning. Plastic
sheeting, resin bonded fiber gigs or stainless steel can be used for certain height of
4) Floor: Floor should be non-slip surface and made of solid type tiles, resistant to water,
5) Ventilation: Good ventilation provides reasonable working condition, reduces humidity
and temperature, condensation. dust, steam and removes odors and contaminated
6) Electricity: Plants should have adequate number of power points. Wiring should be
7) Water and steam: Adequate supply of potable water is essential for the plant and
process. The water should be analyzed periodically to test it's fitness for food
8) Lighting: Adequate lighting is desirable for staff to maintain clean and safe products.
Fluorescent light fitted with diffusers would prevent glare. Daylight can be used
as the cheapest source of lighting but as it is not possible in all the parts of the
plant, a standard lighting facility for general work and meat inspection purposes
9) Ventilation: In a tropical country like India, temperature and humidity of the air can
bevery high. So adequate ventilation isessential inmeat plant. It isalso neededto
remove dust, gases and odor. Natural ventilation through openings in the wall or
roof is economical but entry of birds, insects and rodents should be prevented
10) Work Surface: Work surface should be smooth, impervious, free from cracks and
easy to clean. It should be at correct height with firm base. Cracks and gaps to be
11) Environment: Suitable environment inside the plant is essential for food safety. These
include room temperature, product temperature, equipment settings to have
12) Drainage: Sufficient drainageshould be provided andmaintainedingood order. Waste
water should flows on the floor in such a speed that it rapidly flows to the drain but
13) Sanitary Facilities: In the utility block necessary separation should be made for all
washrooms, canteen and change rooms to prevent contamination. Washroom
should be provided with sufficient number of easy cleaning sinks and with hot/cold
14) Pest Control: The establishment should have an effective and safe pest control
program to prevent insects, rodents, birds and animals entering the plant.
Electrical insect attractants with electrified grid should be used inside the
15) Product Flow: The plant should be designed in such a way that the products can
smoothly flow along the processing line. There should be minimum distance
between all operations, minimum interference between other operations and cross