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Bird is the word: CMS and UGA tackle poultry processing safety

CMS Technology and the University of Georgia are partnering to address contamination in secondary poultry processing.
CMS Technology and the University of Georgia are partnering to address contamination in secondary poultry processing.

The antimicrobial specialist is teaming up with scientists at the University of Georgia on technology to increase the safety of secondary poultry processing environments.

CMS Technology (which produces antimicrobials and other chemicals for food and packaging environments) is forming an alliance with researchers at the University of Georgia to develop safety and sanitation technology for secondary poultry processing.

Surging consumption

The partnership comes at a time when poultry and meat consumption is on the rise around the globe. John Meccia, CEO of CMS Technology, said ensuring the safety of the poultry supply is paramount for food producers and safety officers.

Americans eat significantly more chicken, and ensuring the process that brings us that food source is as safe as possible is an extremely important issue,” he said.

US consumption of poultry products has taken flight. In 1980, the average American wolfed down a total of 58 lbs. of chicken annually; just 34 years later, that figure has nearly doubled to 100 lbs. of chicken per year. Additionally, 50% of broiler birds were purchased whole in 1980, whereas today about 90% of broilers are sold as parts or processed meat.

Scott Russell, UGA professor of poultry processing and products microbiology, also said the surge in secondary processing has increased the importance of ensuring safety across the industry.

Given the considerable demand for cut and ground poultry as opposed to whole birds in today's market, secondary processing has become a central component of the supply chain in the poultry industry,” he said. “This alliance will help foster new and improved intervention strategies to reduce pathogenic and spoilage bacteria in the poultry industry.”

Poultry protection

According to Meccia, CMS develops formulations using ingredients considered GRAS (generally regarded as safe) by the US Food and Drug Administration, for use at various points in the poultry supply chain. The company will work with UGA’s team of scientists to come up with additional technologies and methods to combat cross-contamination during secondary poultry processing.

The UGA and CMS collaboration with tackle tests and experiments; they reportedly expect participation from major poultry and processing industry partners, such as possible brand owners, processing equipment firms, and packaging professionals. The subsequent findings will be released to the industry at large.

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