Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #185970


item Musgrove, Michael
item Cox Jr, Nelson
item Richardson, Larry
item Jones, Deana
item Northcutt, Julie

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2005
Publication Date: 1/25/2006
Citation: Musgrove, M.T., Cox Jr, N.A., Richardson, L.J., Jones, D.R., Northcutt, J.K. 2006. Comparison of shell egg sanitizers and application methods [abstract]. Poultry Science. 85(1):162.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In compliance with Agricultural Marketing Service guidelines, shell eggs marketed with the USDA shield must be washed and treated with a sanitizer prior to entering the retail market. Experiments were conducted to compare the antimicrobial effects of a periacetic acid solution and a chlorine solution (200 ppm) applied to unwashed shell eggs. Other treatments evaluated included distilled water and untreated controls. Also, two application methods were evaluated for each solution: hand spray and a mechanical atomizer which delivered the solutions in a fog of micron-sized particles. After treatment application, egg shells and membranes from individual eggs were crushed in 10 mL phosphate buffered saline for one min. Aliquots from each crushed sample were plated onto aerobic Plate Count Agar to enumerate aerobic mesophilic microorganisms and onto Violet Red Bile Glucose agar to enumerate Enterobacteriaceae. Ten eggs were sampled per treatment for each of three repetitions (n = 210). From untreated controls (C), distilled water-hand sprayed (WH), distilled water-machine applied (WM), chorine-hand sprayed (CH), chlorine-machine applied (CM), periacetic acid-hand sprayed (PH), and periacetic acid-machine applied (PM), aerobic microorganisms were recovered at 1.7, 1.7, 2.2, 1.7, 1.5, 0.6, and 1.7 log10 cfu / mL sample, respectively. Aerobic prevalence for these treatments was 100%, 93%, 100%, 93%, 97%, 50%, and 50%, respectively. Enterobacteriaceae prevalence was 20% (C), 10% (WH), 53% (WM), 13% (CH), 10% (CM), 17% (PH), and 3% (PM). Periacetic acid was more effective than distilled water or chlorine at reducing aerobic prevalence when applied by either method. A greater reduction in numbers was noted for this population when applied by hand spray. Greatest reduction in Enterobacteriaceae prevalence was achieved when the periacetic solution was dispensed as a fog using the mechanical atomizer. Chlorine (200 ppm solution), the most commonly used sanitizer, was not effective in reducing either population.