Submitted to: National Egg Regulatory Officials Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/12/2008
Publication Date: 5/15/2008
Citation: Jones, D.R. 2008. How Clean is the Processing Environment and Can We Fix It?. National Egg Regulatory Officials Annual Meeting. p. 51-54.
Technical Abstract: Research from our laboratories has shown that shell egg processing facilities should enhance processing plant sanitation practices. A survey of shell egg processing facilities located in the southeastern US found no differences in aerobic bacteria and Enterobacteriaceae levels on plant surfaces before and after sanitation procedures had been conducted. A subsequent study examining the frequency of pathogen detection on vacuum loader cups in shell egg processing facilities found a high incidence of Enterobacteriaceae prevalence (99 %). Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp. and Listeria spp. were detected on 3, < 2 and 72 % of sampled vacuum loader cups. Therefore, vacuum loader cups can serve as a reservoir for pathogenic organisms in the shell egg processing facility. Additional studies have determined that the microbial quality of processed shell eggs is quite high throughout 10 wks of storage at 4 C. Sanitation programs utilized in shell egg processing can be enhanced which will serve to further increase product microbial quality and consumer confidence.