Undine: The solution for hygiene problems as a result of mycotoxins

1 November, 2021 Twan Koenen

It is well known within the sector that IWC offers a total solution for extremely effective cleaning during the processing of poultry for slaughter, with its unique Undine technology. As a knowledge provider and practical sparring partner we like to think along with our customers about specific issues. A nice practical example is the research into the relationship between mycotoxins and the health aspects on the process hygiene of poultry. In this article we look more closely at the consequences for process hygiene and at the solutions we offer with Undine to guarantee food safety and the quality of your products.

OEM machines and intestinal defects

OEM machine manufacturers achieve very high performance despite size and weight variations. However, they rely on healthy broilers and organs that allow for clean, high-performance processing. What cannot be taken into account during the development of processing equipment, is the occurrence of organs with strange dimensions, extremely full gall bladders or weak casings, which tear very easily. The OEM machines are already designed to cope with certain weight/size variations. However, this does not apply to intestinal abnormalities due to health-related causes. For example, animals that are not perfectly healthy may have larger livers or weaker intestinal walls that are easily damaged in the eviscerator. Or they may have larger and fuller gall bladders which can easily rupture in the evisceration process and quickly lead to contamination during evisceration. The OEM machines are not designed to deal with these variations at these speeds.

How does mycotoxin cause poor process hygiene?

Mycotoxins affect health and processing hygiene both directly (e.g., abnormal and weaker liver and intestines) and indirectly (e.g., by making the intestines more sensitive to bacteria). For example, the negative effect of DON can make the intestinal wall more permeable, because of which salmonellae attach themselves better to the intestinal wall and possibly end up in the bloodstream. Often these are microscopically small bacteria that have nestled themselves in places that are difficult to reach. Or the presence of mycotoxins causes coccidiosis, which strains the animals’ resistance, causing pathogens such as salmonella to survive and cause problems during processing.

The importance of healthy broilers for hygienic processing

Healthy broilers can fight against Salmonella in the crop / digestive tract, as well as many other pathogenic bacteria. This makes it possible to process perfectly healthy birds in a very hygienic way. However, it is very difficult if not impossible to process 100% perfectly healthy birds in large flocks. A slight cold, for example, can have a negative impact on intestinal health, which in turn can lead to abnormalities and organ damage. It only takes a few animals that are not perfectly healthy to cause problems. Then, in the processing line, such bacterial abnormalities are easily spread through the equipment in the form of cross-contamination. The chain is as strong as the weakest link.

Effective external and internal cleaning is essential

Thorough internal and external cleaning of poultry requires the utmost attention at every step (hurdle) in the processing procedure. Especially because we, as insiders, all know that we unfortunately never have to deal with 100% healthy animals and therefore the consequences of mycotoxins in the feed in the crop, stomach, intestines and organs will negatively influence your process hygiene. This eventually leads to organs that are difficult to process and more frequent smearings and contaminations.


An effective approach to the consequences of mycotoxins with Undine!

Once the above-mentioned consequences of mycotoxins manifest themselves in the processing line within your poultry slaughterhouse, the consequences fortunately can be counteracted very effectively with IWC’s Undine technology by removing contamination, but also by preventing fixation of contamination through wetting. The hurdle-to-hurdle concept consists of several cleaning steps, each designed to solve a specific problem.

  1. For problems with weak intestines that lead to increased tarnishing:
    1. Cleaning the products themselves to a bacterial level
    1. Intermediate humidification to prevent bacterial fixation
    1. Machine cleaning to exclude cross-contamination
  • In case of problems with vulnerable red organs:
    • Pieces of red organs remain in the carcasses. This in turn leads to rejection, fines from the veterinary service or – in the case of immersion chilling (drag chillers or spin chillers) – these pieces contaminate the cooling water. This can be easily removed with an inside-outside washer.
    • Furthermore, these organs can easily be damaged, resulting in B-quality
  • In case of full and/or enlarged gall bladders this can easily lead to contamination of the carcass:
    • This soiling can be cleaned in or directly after the eviscerator. IWC washers are available for this purpose which can be exchanged on the eviscerator.
    • If necessary, in extreme cases additional cleaning can be carried out in the finishing machine when the bile is removed with the pack from the carcass. This can prevent bile from contaminating the carcass in the first place.

Read more about the background of mycotoxins

In a separate articles, we look into the backgrounds of mycotoxins in more detail and how differences in process hygiene between flocks and even seasons can be partially explained.

Want to know more? Get in touch with us!

Would you like to know more about the highly effective way our Undine technology tackles traces of mycotoxins and other contaminants in the slaughter process? Then get in touch with us. IWC is at your service!

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