Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2003
Publication Date: 7/8/2004
Citation: Musgrove, M.T., Jones, D.R., Northcutt, J.K., Cox Jr, N.A., Harrison, M.A. 2003. Detection of aerobic microorganisms and enterobacteriaceae from commercial table eggs using shell rinse and shell crush methods. 83(suppl.1):1765.
Technical Abstract: Determining the presence and numbers of bacteria on shell eggs is important for evaluating the efficacy of washing and packaging as well as the quality and safety of the final product. Shell rinse techniques are easy to perform and widely used. A crush and rub technique (CR) has been found to be more sensitive than shell rinsing (SR) when sampling for pathogens on fertile broiler hatching eggs. In order to determine if this is the most appropriate method for commercial eggs, 360 shell eggs were collected from a commercial egg processor and sampled by SR and CR techniques. Sample aliquots from each method were directly plated onto plate count and violet red bile glucose agar plates, followed by appropriate incubations. Unwashed, in-process, and clean eggs were evaluated in the study. Aerobic prevalence was similar for both methods since almost 100 % of all three egg types were contaminated with these organisms. Enterobacteriaceae prevalence average was similar for both methods (44% SR v. 40% CR) when unwashed, in-process, and clean eggs were considered together. These bacteria were detected more often by SR when dirty eggs (90% SR v. 55.8% CR) were sampled but increased detection was noted for CR when in-process (5% SR v. 39.3% CR) or clean eggs (26.3% SR v. 36.3% CR) were sampled. While shell rinsing is an easier method and more sensitive than the crush and rub method, the latter may be more sensitive for in-process or clean eggs. Key words: shell eggs, aerobic microorganisms, Enterobacteriaceae, sampling techniques