Submitted to: International Association for Food Protection Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2002
Publication Date: 8/10/2003
Citation: Musgrove, M.T., Jones, D.R., Northcutt, J.K., Cox Jr, N.A., Harrison, M.A. 2003. Identification of enterobactericeae from washed and unwashed commercial shell eggs. [abstract] Proceedings of the 90th Annual Meeting of the International Association of Food Protection. p.105.
Technical Abstract: Recently, little attention has been given to the microbiology of commercial processed eggs. Therefore, to evaluate the effect of processing on the safety and quality of retail shell eggs, a storage study was conducted with unwashed and commercially washed eggs. For each of three repetitions, shell eggs were purchased from a retail processing plant, transported back to the laboratory, and stored a 4 C. Once a week for six weeks, twelve eggs for each treatment (washed and unwashed control) were rinsed in phosphate buffered saline. In addition, three composite samples consisting of the contents of three eggs were also collected. A 1 ml aliquot of each sample was then plated with violet red bile agar with overlay and incubated at 37 C for 24 h. Following incubation, plates were observed for colonies denoting Enterobacteriaceae. A maximum of ten isolates per positive sample were streaked for isolation before being identified to the genus or species level using commercially available biochemical strips. Although most of the isolates from the unwashed control eggs belonged to the genera Escherichia or Enterobacter, many other genera and species were identified. These included Citrobacter, Klebsiella, Kluyvera, Pantoea, Providencia, Proteus, Rahnella, Serratia, and Salmonella. Non-enterobactericeae also recovered from the egg samples included Aeromonas, Burkolderia, Pseudomonas, and Vibrio. There were very few washed egg samples that were found to be contaminated with these bacteria. These data provide useful information on the effect of processing on the microbiology of commercial shell eggs.