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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Field and Research Results of Mechanical Hatching Egg Sanitization

Authors
item Mauldin, Joseph - UGA POUL SCI DEPT
item Berrang, Mark
item Cox, Nelson

Submitted to: Poultry USA
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 10, 2002
Publication Date: March 1, 2003
Citation: Mauldin, J.M., Berrang, M.E., Cox Jr, N.A. 2003. Field and research results of mechanical hatching egg sanitization. Poultry USA.

Interpretive Summary: Mechanical egg sanitation provides the broiler industry with more opportunity to reduce the transfer of pathogens from breeder farm to hatchery to the chicks and ultimately, to the processed broiler carcass. With ever-increasing concerns for food safety and reducing contamination in live operations, mechanical egg sanitation deserves a closer evaluation. This information emphasizes the history of egg sanitation and the importance for the egg industry to practice good egg sanitation.

Technical Abstract: Mechanical hatching egg sanitizers are being used mainly in the primary breeder industry and in some parent stock egg producers. The mechanical egg sanitizers are very effective because their controls have eliminated the problems that occurred with immersion (time, solution temperature, contamination, and non-removal of organic material). In addition, these machines truly clean the eggs. Flats of eggs are sent through the machine on a conveyor. High-pressure nozzles spray the sanitizer and disinfectant from multiple locations above and below the hatching eggs. The combination of high temperature and high-pressure spray very effectively remove the organic material from the eggshells. Mechanical egg sanitation has shown a reduction in bacterial counts of 99.9 % and floor eggs could be washed and used as hatching eggs. The main benefit, however, is improved sanitation. With the increasing concerns for food safety, avian pathogen cross contamination, in live bird facilities (hatchery, broiler grow-out, pullet rearing, and breeder production), plus the increased vulnerability of hatching eggs to infection due to in ovo vaccination, mechanical egg sanitization deserves a closer look.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014