T Hillman

University of Bristol, Bristol, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (5)10.01 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Compared with traditional boning of split refrigerated carcasses, hot boning of intact carcasses (the removal of meat from the skeleton prerigor) provides several commercially important cuts, may improve quality and reduce refrigeration costs, and may reduce the contamination of carcasses with central nervous system (CNS) tissue. In a comparative study of hot boning of intact and split carcasses, the CNS tissue contamination of intact carcasses was negligible (as measured with the CNS-related proteins glial fibrillary acidic protein and S-100 protein), but split carcasses were highly contaminated. The same trends were observed for dissection worktables used during the boning process. Most current boning plants have processing lines that are organized for boning carcass quarters, where the carcasses, in addition to transversal division, also are split horizontally. This part of the boning process was incorporated in the design of our study. Nine of the 18 intact carcasses were split horizontally between thoracic vertebrae 10 and 11 before they were hot boned. CNS tissue contamination was not detected on the carcass site related to this procedure. The amount of CNS tissue contamination was similar in boned cuts and minced meat from split and intact carcasses, except in the forerib. Boning of split carcasses appears to reduce CNS tissue contamination significantly to a level comparable to that of intact hot-boned carcasses.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2006 · Journal of food protection
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    ABSTRACT: Although the incidence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle continues to decline in the United Kingdom, it remains important to maintain vigilance of all potential routes of transmission of infection to humans. Initial studies have demonstrated a potential risk of carcass contamination with brain tissue following the use of captive bolt gun stunning in cattle. The objective of this study was to further explore these initial findings particularly in regard to captive bolt guns currently in use in the United Kingdom. Brain tissue fragments or elevated levels of a marker protein for brain tissue were detected in venous blood samples from 4% (95% confidence interval, 1.6 to 9.8%) of cattle stunned by penetrating captive bolt gun and from 2% (95% confidence interval, 0.6 to 7%) of those stunned by nonpenetrating captive bolt gun.
    No preview · Article · May 2005 · Journal of food protection
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    A Gude · T.J. Hillman · C.R. Helps · V.M. Allen · J.E.L. Corry
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate whether Arcobacter spp. colonize the poultry-rearing environment or whether they are contaminants acquired during transportation and/or from the processing plant. Samples were collected on poultry farms and in the processing plant during slaughter and dressing. Two cultural methods of detection were used. Isolates were identified to species level using a multiplex-polymerase chain reaction (m-PCR) method, either on the initial suspensions, or after enrichment, or on pure cultures of isolates. Of the 62 samples examined from poultry farms, arcobacters were found only outside the rearing sheds (in effluent sludge and stagnant water). Thirty-four samples were examined from the processing plant and 26 were positive for arcobacters. All the isolates were Arcobacter butzleri. Arcobacters were not found in any sample by direct plating nor by m-PCR on the initial suspensions, thus it was concluded that numbers were very low. Arcobacter spp. were not found in samples from the live birds and their immediate environment, but A. butzleri was found in effluent sludge and stagnant water outside the rearing sheds. However, A. butzleri is common in poultry abattoirs, and it appears that poultry carcasses are contaminated during processing. Arcobacters are not found inside poultry-rearing sheds, but are contaminants in the processing environment.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2005 · Letters in Applied Microbiology
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    ABSTRACT: The epidemic of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the United Kingdom and the recognition of a variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease prompted revision of the guidelines for slaughter of cattle and sheep to prevent contamination of the edible parts of the carcass with central nervous system tissue. We previously showed that captive bolt gun stunning, which is routinely used for the slaughter of cattle and sheep, causes entry of fragments of central nervous system tissue into the jugular vein. To determine whether such tissue can traverse pulmonary capillaries to enter the systemic circulation, we introduced small volumes of brain tissue that had been disrupted by stunning with a captive bolt gun into the jugular vein of sheep sent for slaughter. We examined aortic blood samples by immunocytochemistry for neurofilament and S100 proteins and by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for glial fibrillary acidic protein and found fragments of neurofilament- and S100-immunopositive central nervous system tissue in samples from 2 of 11 sheep and elevated glial fibrillary acidic protein in 6 sheep. Our findings suggest that central nervous system tissue that is dislodged during routine captive bolt gun stunning and slaughter of sheep can enter the systemic arterial circulation and that, in some cases, this method of slaughter of an animal infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy would be likely to contaminate edible parts of the carcass with infective material.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2004 · Journal of food protection
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    ABSTRACT: In 1989/90, the use of specified bovine offal (SBO) in human food was banned in the UK. Spinal cord, an SBO material, is now removed from beef carcasses post splitting. More recently, following a European Commission Decision introduced on 1st October 2000, regulations in all EU states require the removal of central nervous system (CNS) material from sheep carcasses over 12 months of age and all cattle carcasses. However, in the majority of abattoirs, carcasses are split using a band saw; this often cuts the spinal cord in half along much of its length. This can obviously lead to potential dissemination of CNS material over the carcass and surrounding area resulting in possible contamination with the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) infective agent. We have used enzyme-linked immunosorbant assays (ELISAs) to detect CNS-specific glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and S-100β protein. Both assays show the presence of CNS material on the carcass after splitting with a conventional band saw. This contamination was still present after the carcass had been washed or steam-vacuum cleaned. However, significantly less CNS contamination was observed on carcasses whose spinal column had been removed by an experimental oval saw prior to splitting. With further engineering development, this new technique should be capable of removing spinal cord with minimal contamination risk.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2002 · Food Control