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Incidence of Salmonella in Pennsylvania Egg Processing Plants and Destruction by High pH

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Abstract:

Eggs and washwater samples from egg processing plants in southeastern Pennsylvania were examined for total bacterial counts and the incidence of Salmonella. Survey data indicated a greater number of microorganisms survived the washing process when low washing temperatures (32.2 to 35°C) and low pHs (pH 9 to 10) were used. Salmonellae belonging to group D1 were found in washwater and on washed eggs from a plant which had washwater in this lower temperature and pH range. Plants that had washwater with high pH (pH 11.0 to 12.5) and high temperatures (37.7 to 43.3°C) had relatively low microbial counts in the washwater (7.5 × 103 CFU/ml), and no salmonellae were detected in either washwater samples or on washed eggs. Both washwater pH and temperature had a dramatic effect on the survival of Salmonella enteritidis. At pH 11 and temperatures of 32.2°C (90°F), 37.7°C (100°F) and 43.3°C (100°F), S. enteritidis died rapidly, but at lower temperatures of 4.4°C (40°F) and 18.3°C (65°F) the death rate was much slower. At pH 9, S. enteritidis was able to grow slowly at 32.2 and 37.7°C; however, at 43.3°C, regardless of pH, S. enteritidis died rapidly. High detergent concentration and low egg solids concentration also increased the rate of destruction of S. enteritidis.

Keywords: PENNSYLVANIA EGG PROCESSING PLANTS; SALMONELLA; SALMONELLA ENTERITIDIS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Food Science, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802

Publication date: July 1, 1994

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