Oregon Disease Wand for Poultry Inspection

When the first announcement was made about BreastChecker, HIC was approached to see if we could come up with a solution to detecting breast disease in turkeys. The Research Director of Cranberry Foods explained how Oregon Disease makes the meat of a turkey turn green or black, and if it occurs in birds supplied by supermarkets to the public can cause return of the bird and potential loss of the supply contract.

Cranberry Foods offered HIC a small grant to investigate the problem which led to a new product - the Oregon Disease Wand - only ever made in prototype form but supplied in the UK and abroad.

Oregon Disease Wand
Oregon Disease Wand ready for poultry inspection.
tip of Oregon Disease Wand
Illuminated LED tip of Oregon Disease Wand.

These units were supplied for around £400 each but with improved design could have been sold for a higher price in view of the importance to food safety. Also the black meat can be cut out of the birds and turkey burgers produced with the remainder of the carcass. The worldwide market could be quite large because chickens can also suffer from the disease.

The wand is placed inside the carcass of the bird on the production line during the processing. The birds have been de-feathered and the probe inserted towards the neck end of the bird. The device is battery operated for safety as the production line is a wet area. A foot switch gives a quick flash of light through the tissues illuminating the breast. Provided the light intensity is carefully controlled, the operator can spot birds suffering with Oregon Disease and take them out of the main production line.

Oregon Disease Wand kit
Kit containing Oregon Disease Wand.
turkey illuminated by Oregon Disease Wand
A turkey illuminated by Oregon Disease Wand.

Recommendation

“We are grateful to you in the development of the inspection wand in order that we can confidently inspect our larger turkey hens and breeder birds for the presence of Oregon Muscle Syndrome. The use of the wand as a light source to illuminate the inside of the body cavity has allowed us to utilize unskilled labour, as it is easy to use and apply. The wand is robust and food safe and we have experienced no problems in its use within our processing operation. Once again my thanks and should you wish me to speak to anyone wanting to pursue its purchase or use, I would be pleased to do so…”
Terry Motley - Technical Director, Cranberry Foods Limited