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UV Irradiation of Shell Eggs: Effect on Populations of Aerobes, Molds, and Inoculated Salmonella typhimurium

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The effects were investigated of 254-nm UV radiation on populations of Salmonella typhimurium, aerobes, and molds on the shells of eggs. In the first experiment, the CFU of attached S. typhimurium cells on unwashed clean shell eggs were determined after 0, 1, 3, 5, and 7 min of UV treatment (620 μW/cm2) on both ends of the egg. All UV treatments significantly reduced S. typhimurium CFU (P < .01). UV treatment (620 μW/cm2) in 1-min alternating light and dark cycles for 5 min (three light and two dark) was compared to 0, 3, and 5 min of UV treatment. No significant differences in microbial populations were observed among light and dark cycles and the other UV treatments. In a subsequent experiment, the same UV treatments were utilized to evaluate photoreactivation. After UV exposure, eggs were exposed to 1 h of fluorescent light or 1 h of darkness or cultured immediately. S. typhimurium CFU were significantly (P < .01) reduced by the UV treatments. However, no significant differences between microbial populations exposed to UV treatment and UV radiation plus photoreactivation were detected. For studies of aerobic bacteria and molds, different UV treatment times (0, 15, and 30 min) at the intensity of 620 μW/cm2 and different intensities (620, 1350, and 1720 μW/cm2) for 15 min were evaluated. Mold CFU per egg were either 0 or 1 for all UV treatments and a 99% reduction of CFU of aerobic bacteria per egg were observed for all UV treatments. It appears from these studies that UV light can significantly reduce populations of S. typhimurium, aerobes, and molds on shell eggs.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Poultry Science, 101 Kleberg Center, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-2472, USA

Publication date: June 1, 1997

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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