Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: March 3, 2011
Publication Date: October 20, 2011
Citation: Musgrove, M.T. 2011. Microbiology and Safety of Table Eggs. Improving the Safety and Quality of Eggs and Egg Products. Cambridge, UK. Woodhead Publishing. Volume 2, p. 3-33. Interpretive Summary: This chapter describes the US shell egg industry. Egg microbiology, facility sanitation, processing, regulations, and role of consumers and egg handling in food safety are discussed. This chapter will be read by academics within and outside the US interested in scientific research pertaining to the microbiology of eggs and egg processing.
Technical Abstract: This chapter describes the microbiology of table eggs, effects of processing, regulatory influences, relative risk of egg-borne disease, and the role of retail and consumer practices in outbreaks. Effects of washing, refrigeration, and facility sanitation in US commercial facilities will be described and their contribution to shelf-life and food safety will be discussed. Current regulations, recent changes, and the influence of Safe and Quality Foods (SQF), a voluntary program required by some retailers, are described. A general discussion of table egg microbiology, pathogens, and emerging pathogens is followed by a description of sampling methods. Finally, the relative risk of egg-borne illness in the US and the contribution by retail and consumer practices will be discussed.