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Internal and External Bacterial Counts from Shells of Eggs Washed in a Commercial-Type Processor at Various Wash-Water Temperatures

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The effects of two egg holding temperatures (15.5 and 26.7°C) and three wash-water temperatures (15.5, 32.2, and 48.9°C) on internal and external shell surface bacterial counts were tested by using a commercial-type egg-processing unit. Two experiments consisting of five trials, each of which included 360 eggs per treatment for a total of 2,160 per trial, were conducted during two seasons (summer and winter) for a total of 10 replicates per experiment. During the performance of each replicate, counts from tryptic soy agar (TSA) and MacConkey agar (MAC) were obtained from 10 egg samples which were collected prior to processing (prewash), immediately after washing (postwash), and after a 5-day cooling period at 7.2°C (postcool). No growth was observed on MAC plates in either experiment, indicating that fewer than 100 counts were detected. No significant differences (P > 0.05) were observed in the prewash, postwash, or postcool internal shell counts of eggs held at l5.5°C compared to internal counts of shells of eggs held at 26.7°C. Likewise, no significant differences (P > 0.05) were observed in the prewash, postwash, or postcool internal shell counts obtained from eggs washed in l5.5°C water compared with internal shell counts obtained from eggs washed in water at 32.2 or 48.9°C. On the basis of our data, spray washing eggs in l5.5°C water does not appear to increase internal shell bacterial counts. Because warm or hot wash water increases egg temperatures markedly, a reexamination of cold-water processing procedures may be in order.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Poultry Science, North Carolina State University, Box 7608, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7608, USA 2: Department of Poultry Science, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701, USA 3: Department of Food Science, North Carolina State University, Box 7624, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7624, USA

Publication date: November 1, 1997

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