Case Studies

Poultry Case Study One- New Zealand

The Customer
The customer is a premium "Organic Certified Free Range" producer of fresh chicken. Finished products are sold fresh chilled through retail outlets, direct to the restaurant and to the food service trade. The processor controls the whole value chain from the newly hatched chickens to the offsite processing facility. They process depending on the demand which is usually every second day.

The Problem
Due to the regulations for organic food processing there are many limitations as far as inputs they can use to clean the plant and to control water quality in the processing/chilling baths. Over a period of time the levels of Campylobacter in the processed chicken had increased slowly and had fallen outside of the NZ Food Safety Authority guidelines. The customer had recently been ordered to stop supplying fresh chicken to their market. They could only sell pre frozen chicken which is not ideal.

The Solution
Citrox instigated a full cleaning and sanitising program in the processing plant, from the potable water supply to the processing tables and chilling baths. During the first 4 weeks after Citrox was introduced we saw a marked improvement in the bacteria levels.
However the test results also showed a trend of low results interceded with the odd high result giving a higher average. This was thought to be the effect of a "BioFilm" build-up on the plant surface releasing Campylobacter into the processing stream. After the 4 week period we saw a dramatic improvement in the results which confirmed that we had the BioFilm now under control.
Note that in between the 4th and 5th weeks we didn't change the application methodology. The tests for E coli and Salmonella ( not included in the graph below) were under the levels required.
The customer has now been given the permission to sell fresh chicken again.

Sanitation Program for Poultry Processing Plants
Citrox Products

Citrox BioKlenz - Food contact sanitiser, Citrox SurfaceSan - Surface sanitiser, Citrox EnviroFoam - Foam based cleaner and sanitiser, and Citrox Saniwash - Non Foaming cleaner and sanitiser.

Live Poultry Crates

These crates are a potential source of contamination as they connect the farm environment with the processing facility and are reusable. They should be cleaned and disinfected every time they are used.
Citrox EnviroFoam is a high foaming cleaner and sanitiser using the Citrox biocide technology. Use at 2% concentration by way of foaming gun. Application with the foam will give the required residence time on the surfaces to be cleaned and disinfected. An alternative would be to use Citrox SaniWash which is a low foaming version through a water blaster.
FootBaths - Use Citrox SurfaceSan at 0.5% or 50mls per 10Ltrs.

Slaughter Room

This is the area where the most soiling will happen and therefore is very hard to keep clean and sanitised during production.
Scalding Bath - Add to the bath Citrox BioKlenz at 0.2% or 2 mls per ltr every 100 birds. This will have the effect of lowering the bacteria level on the outside of the bird and cross contaminating the downstream processing areas
General Cleaning - Use EnviroFoam at 2% through foaming equipment.
After Cleandown - Spray surfaces with 0.5% solution of Citrox SurfaceSan and leave on the surface

Evisceration Table

This is a very critical area for maintaining hygiene levels as it is exposed to cross contamination from the bacteria that will be in the gut of the bird.
Knives and utensils - Soak in Citrox BioKlenz at 0.2%. To clean after use soak in Citrox EnviroFoam at 1.0%
Potable water - All rinse water used to clean out internal cavities and to wash away any offal to be injected inline with Citrox BioKlenz at 0.2%

Chilling Baths

Citrox BioKlenz can be used in both the initial and final chilling baths. Use at 0.5% to 1% concentration.

Note: When placing the bird in the bath make sure that all the air in the cavities is removed to stop any pockets of air where the BioKlenz solution can not reach. Leave in the bath the required time to reduce the temperature of the bird. Drain and pack.

Packing Area

Food contact surfaces and equipment- Use Citrox BioKlenz at 0.2% to rinse down all benches before use. Citrox Bioklenz is NZFSA approved as a "Processing Aid" and does not require rinsing off after application.
Use Citrox BioKlenz in spray bottles or injected into the water supply in this area, to sanitise surfaces and equipment during production.
Clean all surfaces down after production with Citrox EnviroFoam and sanitise with Citrox Bioklenz.


Air Filters - The incoming air filters must be checked on a regular basis and should be washed and sanitised regularly. Use EnviroFoam at 2 % concentration at 60ºC to wash the filter and sanitise with Bioklenz at 1% solution.
Floors, walls and ceiling - Before and after production wash down all floors and surfaces with Citrox EnviroFoam and final rinse with Citrox BioKlenz at 0.2%, do not rinse off.

Other Products

Citrox PWT- To be added to the drinking water supply for the chickens for the life of the bird
  • optimises the pH of the animals gut to assist in controlling harmful bacteria
  • replacing conventional growth promoters and antibiotics
  • stimulating the immune system of the animal
  • EU organic farming Regulations 2092/91 compliant
  • NZFSA approved for potable water use ( Citrox PWT)
SosonaturelTM - For personal hygiene
  • Safe and with a broad spectrum kill range
  • 100% natural
  • Alcohol free
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Long lasting residual effect.
Reference Material:

To find Campylobacter jejuni, look in the biofilms
Irene Hanning, University of Arkansas

Research at the University of Arkansas shows that Campylobacter jejuni is vulnerable to stress, so it survives by latching onto other colonies of bacteria known as biofilms

Campylobacter jejuni is a pathogen found in chickens and is the nation?s leading cause of foodborne bacterial diarrhea, so poultry producers look for ways to control it before the birds go to processing. The good news is that the bacterium is susceptible to stress and is vulnerable. So what keeps it going?

Here's one way: the bug latches onto other colonies of bacteria - biofilms - and uses them as places to thrive in ways the Campylobacter jejuni would be less likely to do on their own.

"The capture of C. jejuni could be correlated to the amount of biofilm present," said Irene Hanning, a post-doctoral associate in food science at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture who investigated the issue for the Food Safety Consortium. "This makes control of all biofilms critical because the communities have a strong potential to capture high levels of C. jejuni."

First, it's important to consider how biofilms work. Many bacteria have an ability to form a biofilm, which Hanning described as an assemblage of bacteria encased in a sticky substance. Biofilms are complex structures that adhere to surfaces and consist of colonies of bacteria.

Being in a biofilm is an advantage to bacteria. The biofilm provides protection from antibiotics and other threats to bacteria?s existence. C. jejuni has had a major disadvantage in that unlike many other bacteria, it doesn?t do well at making its own biofilm. So it may have found the next best thing to do: it moves into biofilms that are already protecting other bacteria. C. jejuni becomes a secondary colonizer.

The host colonizers can be any of several bacteria, but C. jejuni's most prevalent host turns out to be Pseudomonas, which also serve as the main spoilage bacteria on chicken carcasses and are excellent biofilm formers, Hanning said.

Hanning looked at the ability of C. jejuni to survive from biofilm populations isolated from four places: a drinking unit in a chicken growout house, a drain under a plucker in a processing plant, a retail chicken carcass and a crate used to haul live chickens. No C. jejuni was found on the growth surfaces outside of biofilms that had already been established. The biofilms were cultured under three different temperatures that showed varying levels of ability to harbor C. jejuni.

"These experiments indicated that C. jejuni can be captured and harbored by a biofilm regardless of the bacterial constituents," Hanning said. "Therefore most biofilms should be considered as having the potential to promote and harbor C. jejuni."

Irene Hanning, University of Arkansas, 479-575-4206 or

Poultry Case Study Two

Broiler Shed Water Quality
May 2013

The Customer
Is a long time supplier to one of the principal chicken processing companies in New Zealand. Each Run has a Placement of 94,000 chickens housed in 4 Broiler Sheds up to 42 days.

The Problem
The quality of the drinking water supplied to the Broilers was below standard. The water is drawn from the farm bore and has a high alkaline content along with a high organic loading. The broiler water consumption was noticeably low compared to the industry norm. The low water uptake resulted in lower feed consumption resulting in relatively low live weight at the time of slaughter. The water palatability was probably also having an adverse effect on the overall health of the broilers with mortality rate being significantly above the norm.

The Solution
Citrox PWT (potable water treatment) is a unique, non-toxic, hypoallergenic, natural treatment and biocide formulated for the treatment of water to make it both potable and more palatable. PWT is NZFSA and FDA classified as food ingredient. It is normally used at a rate of 50 to 100 ppm (i.e. 50 to 100 mls of PWT per 1,000 litres of water) but can also be used at higher concentrations in challenging situations. Citrox PWT concentrated solution is diluted into a small balance tank and from here pumped proportionally into the Broiler Shed supply water line. As the water flow increases then the rate of injection of the solution increases so that the required concentration 50 is maintained. Its brown colour makes it easily identifiable even in diluted solutions. Over the Run that the trial was conducted the water consumed by the broilers was measured at 1,148,065 litres and 43 litres of PWT was dosed. Average concentration of the PWT was therefore 38 ppm.

The Outcomes
  • The most important outcome was that the PIF (the measurement of performance)
  • rose from 382 points to 396 points; this is equivalent to a 3.7% lift in operational
  • performance. This current Run provided greater live weight in a shorter time
  • compared to the previous Run. When considering total performance there is a
  • positive result on the financial performance also.
  • The mortality rate was reduced from 4.0% to 2.2%
  • Meal consumption increased 1.1%
  • Water consumed increased by 30%
o Water pH reduced from pH 9.2 to pH 8.3
o Total water consumed was 1,148,065 litres v 786,031 litres on the previous Run.

Farm Manager- next steps
The Farm Manager intends to continue with Citrox PWT due to the improved results of this Run. He likes that Citrox PWT is stable in the concentrate and made up solution and that it is classified as a non-dangerous chemical and as such is easy to handle and store compared with previous procedures. Visually, in his view, the broilers were in better physical condition with a whiter colour and the drop off in mortality was pleasing.

By increasing the concentration of Citrox PWT up to 50 ppm (in this case using 60 litres for the total Run) there would appear to be greater benefits to gain. It would be expected that by the addition of the extra Citrox PWT concentrate the pH would further reduce to near the pH 7.0 target. The biocidal effects of the PWT would become more prominent also providing safer water to the broilers thereby reducing the risk of microbial infection.

For more detailed information on Broiler Shed trials using Citrox PWT please contact Stewart Madgwick at or Kerry Gibb at