Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Microbiology of Commercial Shell Egg Processing

Authors
item Musgrove, Michael
item Jones, Deana
item Northcutt, Julie
item Harrison, Mark - UGA
item Cox, Nelson

Submitted to: United States-Japan Cooperative Program in Natural Resources
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 19, 2004
Publication Date: November 15, 2004
Citation: Musgrove, M.T., Jones, D.R., Northcutt, J.K., Harrison, M.A., Cox Jr, N.A. 2004. Microbiology of commercial shell egg processing. United States-Japan Cooperative Program in Natural Resources. p.118-126.

Interpretive Summary: Though there is a great deal of literature about the microbiology of shell eggs, little of it describes how modern US processing conditions impact bacterial populations. As regulations are being drafted for the industry, this information can be important in determining processing steps that are critical to product safety (critical control points). Five different shell egg surface populations (aerobic, yeasts/molds, Enterobacteriaceae, E. coli, and Salmonella spp.) were monitored at twelve points along the processing line (from accumulator to packaging) at three commercial facilities. Significant reductions in population levels were observed for all aerobic, yeasts/molds, Enterobacteriaceae, and E. coli populations after eggs were processed. Washing also decreased the prevalence of each population. Salmonella were recovered from 0 ' 62 % of pooled samples in the six repetitions. These data show fluctuations in level and prevalence for each population but demonstrate that current commercial practices decrease microbial contamination of egg shell surfaces.

Technical Abstract: Though there is a great deal of literature about the microbiology of shell eggs, little of it describes how modern US processing conditions impact bacterial populations. As regulations are being drafted for the industry, this information can be important in determining processing steps that are critical to product safety (critical control points). Five different shell egg surface populations (aerobic, yeasts/molds, Enterobacteriaceae, E. coli, and Salmonella spp.) were monitored at twelve points along the processing line (from accumulator to packaging) at three commercial facilities. Significant reductions in population levels were observed for all aerobic, yeasts/molds, Enterobacteriaceae, and E. coli populations after eggs were processed. Washing also decreased the prevalence of each population. Salmonella were recovered from 0 ' 62 % of pooled samples in the six repetitions. These data show fluctuations in level and prevalence for each population but demonstrate that current commercial practices decrease microbial contamination of egg shell surfaces.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page