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Title:
A STEAM DISINFESTATION INLINE SYSTEM AND APPARATUS FOR POULTRY SLAUGHTERHOUSE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/188522
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention provides systems and methods for preventing poultry contamination during processing, with a treatment agent, such as steam, as the poultry carcasses move forward along a pathway created by a conveyer, in a chamber. The chamber is found by an aligned ceiling and floor, and oppositely disposed lateral walls. The exposure times to the steam, created by the intervals and lengths in which steam enters the chamber results in the elimination (destruction) and/or neutralization of the pathogens on the poultry carcasses, while the carcasses remain undamaged.

Inventors:
REGEV RAFI (IL)
SCHMILOVITCH ZE'EV (IL)
HOFFMAN AHRON (IL)
ESHEL DANI (IL)
MEIR DEKEL (IL)
Application Number:
IB2020/052549
Publication Date:
September 24, 2020
Filing Date:
March 19, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
THE STATE OF ISRAEL MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE & RURAL DEVELOPMENT AGRICULTURAL RES ORGANIZATION ARO VO (IL)
International Classes:
A22C21/00; A01M19/00; A23B7/005; A23L3/16; A23L3/18; A61L2/07; B08B3/02
Foreign References:
US20180360077A12018-12-20
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FRIEDMAN, Mark (IL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A disinfestation method comprising:

placing a plurality of slaughtered poultry along a pathway for causing movement of said slaughtered poultry to expose the cavity and exterior surface of said slaughtered poultry to treatment substances;

providing a treatment chamber along said pathway; and,

treating said slaughtered poultry with a treatment substance while said slaughtered poultry are passing through said treatment chamber.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein said treatment substance is steam.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein said treatment substance is a treatment agent.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein said rotational pathway is created by suspended conveyer.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein the exposure period of said slaughtered poultry to said treatment substance ranges approximately between 0-20 seconds.

6. The method of claim 2, additionally comprising introducing said steam into said treatment chamber through at least one nozzle in the treatment chamber.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein said steam is introduced through said at least one nozzle at a temperature of approximately 120°- 140° C.

8. The method of claim 6, wherein said steam causes the slaughtered poultry cavity and exterior surface temperature to reach a temperature of approximately 70° C.

9. A system for treating slaughtered poultry comprising:

a chamber configured for receiving a treatment agent in the interior of the chamber;

a conveyer extending at least partially through the chamber, the conveyer configured for maintaining a forward moving path for the slaughtered poultry, such that substantially all of exterior of the slaughtered poultry is exposed to the treatment agent; and,

an inner disinfection mechanism including at least one nozzle configured for entering the at least one nozzle into the cavity of the slaughtered poultry and exposing said cavity to the treatment agent.

10. The system of claim 9, additionially comprising a steam source for providing steam as the treatment agent to the interior of the chamber.

11. The system of claim 10, additonally comprising a computerized controller configured for controlling the stream source, such that steam is provided to the chamber at predetermined intervals.

12. The system of claim 11, wherein the computerized controller is configured for controlling the stream source, such that steam is provided to the chamber at the predetermined intervals for predetermined lengths of time.

13. The system of claim 9, wherein the chamber includes an opening for receiving the slaughtered poultry at a proximal end of the chamber, and an opening through which the slaughtered poultry are exiting from the chamber at a distal end.

14. The system of claim 13, wherein the forward moving path is from the opening at the proximal end of the chamber to the opening at the distal end of the chamber.

15. The system of claims 9 or 11, wherein the conveyer is driven by a motor.

16. The system of claim 15, wherein the motor is controlled by the computerized controller.

17. The system of claim 9, wherein the inner disinfection mechanism further includes a gear and at least one anchoring part. 18. The system of claim 11, wherein the computerized controller is in communication with a thermal camera configured for monitoring the inner surface temperature of said slaughtered poultry.

19. The system of claim 11, wherein the computerized controller is in communication with a thermal camera configured for monitoring the outer surface temperature of said slaughtered poultry.

Description:
A Steam Disinfestation Inline System and Apparatus for Poultry

Slaughterhouse

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is related to and claims priority from commonly owned US Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 62/820,889, entitled: A Steam Disinfection Inline System and Apparatus for Poultry Slaughterhouse, filed on March 20, 2019, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference in its entirety herein.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to the disinfection of poultry in slaughterhouses.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

There is an increasing public concern over the hazards of poultry contamination during processing of the poultry carcasses. Many pesticides formerly used are no longer used, as bacteria resistant to these pesticides have developed. As a result, the use of pesticides for control of poultry contamination has been substantially restricted and research and development has focused on non-pesticide treatments.

Heat treatment is one alternative treatment for disinfection as it does not involve any pesticides and is considered as both environmental and human friendly. However, when heat is applied to the complete outer surface of the poultry sufficient for contamination control, there is a danger that hot spots may arise on the outer surface of poultry, damaging it, or making the poultry vulnerable to necrotrophic pathogens.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides systems and methods for preventing poultry contamination during processing, with a treatment agent, such as steam, as the poultry carcasses move forward along a pathway created by a conveyer, in a chamber. The chamber is found by an aligned ceiling and floor, and oppositely disposed lateral walls. The exposure times to the steam, created by the intervals and lengths in which steam enters the chamber results in the elimination (destruction) and/or neutralization of the pathogens on the poultry carcasses, while the carcasses remain undamaged. Embodiments of the invention are directed to a disinfection method comprising: placing a plurality of slaughtered poultry along a pathway for causing movement of the slaughtered poultry to expose the cavity and exterior surface of the slaughtered poultry to treatment substances; providing a treatment chamber along the pathway; and, treating the slaughtered poultry with a treatment substance while the slaughtered poultry are passing through the treatment chamber.

Optionally, the treatment substance is steam.

Optionally, the treatment substance is a treatment agent.

Optionally, the rotational pathway is created by suspended conveyer.

Optionally, the exposure period of the slaughtered poultry to the treatment substance ranges approximately between 0-20 seconds.

Optionally, the method additionally comprising introducing the steam into the treatment chamber through at least one nozzle in the treatment chamber.

Optionally, the steam is introduced through the at least one nozzle at a temperature of approximately 120°- 140° C.

Optionally, the steam causes the slaughtered poultry cavity and exterior surface temperature to reach a temperature of approximately 70° C.

Embodiments of the invention are directed to a system for treating slaughtered poultry comprising: a chamber configured for receiving a treatment agent in the interior of the chamber; a conveyer extending at least partially through the chamber, the conveyer configured for maintaining a forward moving path for the slaughtered poultry, such that substantially all of exterior of the slaughtered poultry is exposed to the treatment agent; and, an inner disinfection mechanism including at least one nozzle configured for entering the at least one nozzle into the cavity of the slaughtered poultry and exposing the cavity to the treatment agent.

Optionally, the system additionially comprising a steam source for providing steam as the treatment agent to the interior of the chamber.

Optionally, the system additonally comprising a computerized controller configured for controlling the stream source, such that steam is provided to the chamber at predetermined intervals.

Optionally, the computerized controller is configured for controlling the stream source, such that steam is provided to the chamber at the predetermined intervals for predetermined lengths of time. Optionally, the chamber includes an opening for receiving the slaughtered poultry at a proximal end of the chamber, and an opening through which the slaughtered poultry are exiting from the chamber at a distal end.

Optionally, the forward moving path is from the opening at the proximal end of the chamber to the opening at the distal end of the chamber.

Optionally, the conveyer is driven by a motor.

Optionally, the motor is controlled by the computerized controller.

Optionally, the inner disinfection mechanism further includes a gear and at least one anchoring part.

Optionally, the computerized controller is in communication with a thermal camera configured for monitoring the inner surface temperature of the slaughtered poultry.

Optionally, the computerized controller is in communication with a thermal camera configured for monitoring the outer surface temperature of the slaughtered poultry.

Unless otherwise defined herein, all technical and/or scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which the invention pertains. Although methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein may be used in the practice or testing of embodiments of the invention, exemplary methods and/or materials are described below. In case of conflict, the patent specification, including definitions, will control. In addition, the materials, methods, and examples are illustrative only and are not intended to be necessarily limiting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Some embodiments of the present invention are herein described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings. With specific reference to the drawings in detail, it is stressed that the particulars shown are by way of example and for purposes of illustrative discussion of embodiments of the invention. In this regard, the description taken with the drawings makes apparent to those skilled in the ait how embodiments of the invention may be practiced.

Attention is now directed to the drawings, where like reference numerals or characters indicate corresponding or like components.

In the drawings: Fig. 1 is a side view of the system according to an embodiment of the present invention; and,

Fig. 2 is a side view of the inner disinfection mechanism according to an embodiment of the present invention;

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description. The invention is capable of other embodiments, or of being practiced or carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

The present invention provides a system for disinfecting poultry carcasses in slaughterhouses from potential pathogens using short and efficient exposure to steam.

Fig. 1 is a side view of the system 100. The system 100 includes a treatment unit 102 and a conveyer 104, e.g., a suspended conveyer with suspension hooks, on which the slaughtered poultry carcasses 105 are positioned, forming a pathway for the slaughtered poultry carcasses, from a raw product to a treated product. For example, the carcasses 105 illustrated in the figures are poultry, such as chickens, turkey, ducks, and the like, which have been de-feathered and eviscerated.

The treatment unit 102 includes a chamber or enclosure 106. A proximal portion 104a and a distal portion 104b of the conveyer 104 extend out of the chamber 106, so as to be driven by a motor (not shown) via gears or belts. The motor may be activated manually or controlled by a computerized controller (not shown), over wired and/or wireless networks, or combinations thereof.

The chamber 106 includes a proximal opening 106px in the side wall 106a of the chamber 106 and a distal opening 106dx in the parallel side wall 106b of the chamber 106. The carcasses 105 are entered into the chamber 106 via proximal opening 106px and are exited from the chamber 106 as treated slaughtered poultry carcasses through distal opening 106dx.

The carcasses 105 are suspended on suspension members 107, which are located on the conveyer 104. The suspension members 107 include attachment elements 109a- 109b, which, for example, suspend the carcasses 105 through its legs and create an opening into the carcasses inner cavity through its anus. The suspension members 107 further include a ring member 110 with an open center area 110a. The ring member 110 connects the attachment elements 109a-109b to one another and is positioned above the carcasses opening.

The chamber 106 includes one or more nozzles 108a- 108c, for example, in the chamber upper wall 106y, through which steam enters the chamber 106, from a steam unit or source via pipes (not shown). The steam unit or source may be controlled by a computer, computerized controller or the like, as well as manually. The computer or manual control is such that steam, which is for example, water-based, is released from the steam unit at various times, including time intervals, for various time lengths. The steam is at a temperature sufficient, such that all or substantially all, of the exterior (or surface) of the slaughtered poultry carcasses is exposed to the steam in the chamber 106. The exposure to the steam eliminates and/or neutralizes pathogens for each of the slaughtered poultry, for example, disinfecting each of the slaughtered poultry without destroying the slaughtered poultry themselves.

The chamber 106 further includes an inner disinfection mechanism 112, for example, in the chamber upper wall 106y. The inner disinfection mechanism 112 (Fig. 2) includes a gear 114 attached to a steamer 116 through which steam enters from a steam unit or source via pipes (not shown). The gear 114 is attached to the steamer 116 through, for example, two anchoring parts 118a and 118b.

The temperature of the steam entering from the steam unit or source may be controlled using a thermal camera (not shown) positioned within system 100. The thermal camera monitors the temperature of the inner surface, the outer surface, or both of the treated slaughtered poultry and adjusts the steam temperature accordingly so as to prevent heat damage to the slaughtered poultry.

In addition to steam, other treatment substances or agents, either alone or in combination with steam, may also be transmitted into the chamber 106 for treatment of the slaughtered poultry carcasses. The treatment agents, are typically gasses or liquids, but may also be solids, such as powders, for example, which are food safe, or UV light.

In operation, for example, the carcasses 105 suspended on suspension members 107 are entered into the chamber 106 via proximal opening 106px. Once the carcasses 105 suspended on suspension members 107 are aligned with the inner disinfection mechanism 112, the chamber 106 is closed and the gear 114 enters the steamer 116 such that the end 116a of the steamer is aligned with the interior of the eviscerated poultry. Steam is injected into the carcasses cavity through the open area 110a of ring member 110 of suspension members 107. Steam enters the carcasses cavity through steamer 116 at temperatures of approximately 120°-140° C. This entry temperature is such that the steam contacts the slaughtered poultry carcasses interior at temperatures sufficient to treat the carcasses interior from pathogens and other harmful agents, but not cause heat damage. The steam causes the interior temperature of the slaughtered poultry carcasses to reach a temperature of approximately 60°-76° C, as this temperature allows disinfecting of the slaughtered poultry carcasses interior from pathogens and other harmful agents without causing heat damage.

After the interior disinfection process is done the exterior disinfection process starts. Steam enters the chamber 106 through the steam nozzles 108a- 108c, at the same temperatures as in the interior disinfection process (approximately 120° C-140º C). The steam causes the exterior surface temperature of the slaughtered poultry carcasses to reach the same temperature as in the interior disinfection process (approximately 60°-76° C).

At the end of the disinfecting process, the chamber 106 is open and the poultry carcasses exit as treated slaughtered poultry carcasses through distal opening 106dx.

The exposure time of the slaughtered poultry carcasses to the steam is, for example, restricted to a predetermined period of time, approximately 0-20 seconds, as provided manually or by a computer controller, and/or coupled with the exposure time to the steam, in order to prevent heat damage to the slaughtered poultry.

EXAMPLES

The following examples are not meant to limit the scope of the claims in any way. The following examples are put forth so as to provide those of ordinary skill in the art with a complete disclosure and description of how to make and use the described invention, and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention, nor are they intended to represent that the experiments below are all or the only experiments performed. Unless indicated otherwise, parts are parts by weight, molecular weight is weight average molecular weight, temperature is in degrees Centigrade, and pressure is at or near atmospheric. EXAMPLE 1 - Disinfecting the exterior of slaughtered poultry

The exterior of the slaughtered poultry was treated via steam with exposure time of 5, 10, 15 and 20 seconds. The results are presented in table 1.

Table 1. Results of contamination levels vs. treatment

The results show that the most efficient treatment was achieved in the 20 sec period.

EXAMPLE 2 - Disinfecting both the exterior and the cavity of slaughtered poultry

The exterior of the slaughtered poultry was treated with exposure time of 10, 15 and 20 seconds, while the cavity of the slaughtered poultry was treated with exposure time of 10 seconds. The results are presented in table 2.

Table 2. Results of contamination levels vs. treatment

The results show that the most efficient treatment was achieved in the 15 seconds exterior + 10 seconds interior period.

While the invention has been described with respect to a limited number of embodiments, it will be appreciated that many variations, modifications and other applications of the invention may be made. Therefore, the claimed invention as recited in the claims that follow is not limited to the embodiments described herein.




 
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