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Shell Egg Sanitation: UV Radiation and Egg Rotation to Effectively Reduce Populations of Aerobes, Yeasts, and Molds

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The intensity of UV radiation (254 nm) and egg rotation were examined for their effect on aerobic microorganisms, yeast, and mold on egg shell surfaces. Aerobic microorganisms, yeast, and mold populations were significantly reduced by UV treatments at 1,720 μW/cm2. Eggs rotated at 1 revolution per min under 1,720 μW/cm2 of UV light had significantly reduced populations of aerobic microorganisms. Higher intensity (4,350 μW/cm2) with egg rotation also significantly decreased aerobic microorganism populations. Eggs treated with rotation and 15 min of 4,350 μW/cm2 of UV radiation had significantly lower populations of aerobic microorganisms than eggs without rotation. Eggs rotated and exposed to 15 min of 4,350 μW/cm2 of UV were compared to eggs dipped in 200 ppm chlorine-treated water solution for 1 min, exposed to 3× formaldehyde fumigation for 20 min, sprayed with commercial sanitizer (Bioguard®) for 3 min, and eggs receiving no treatment. Eggs treated with UV radiation had significantly higher populations of aerobic microorganisms than eggs from other treatments but significantly lower bacterial populations than the control group. Mold and yeast populations of UV-treated eggs were significantly lower than the untreated eggs. The results of this study indicate that UV radiation can significantly reduce aerobic microorganisms, yeast and molds on egg shell surfaces.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Poultry Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, 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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