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Populations of Salmonella Enteritidis in Artificially Inoculated Chicken Eggs as Influenced by the Temperatures under Which Eggs Might Be Held from the Day of Lay until the Day of Processing

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This study was undertaken to determine the levels of Salmonella Enteritidis in artificially inoculated eggs as affected by the temperatures under which eggs might be held from the day of lay until the day of processing. Unprocessed chicken eggs of different sizes (n = 1,920, with 480 being laid in each season) were inoculated in the albumen with a five-strain mixture of Salmonella at 102 CFU per egg. The eggs were stored at 4, 10, and 22°C for 3 weeks and sampled twice a week to determine the populations of Salmonella and total aerobic bacteria. The season in which eggs were laid did not significantly impact the growth of the pathogen (P > 0.05). The mean populations of the inoculated Salmonella were not significantly different in eggs stored at 4 versus 10°C (P > 0.05). Eggs stored at 22°C had a mean Salmonella population that was 3.71 or 3.37 log higher than the Salmonella population of eggs stored at 4 or 10°C (P > 0.05). The mean Salmonella population at 22°C increased from the initial 2.12 log CFU/ml to 3.36 log CFU/ml after 2 weeks of storage and to 7.84 log CFU/ml after 3 weeks of storage. A sharp increase in the population of Salmonella occurred after 2 to 2.5 weeks of storage at 22°C. This study provided a scientific basis for the current egg handling and transporting temperature requirements and reinforced the importance of maintaining low temperatures in controlling and preventing the growth of Salmonella Enteritidis in eggs from the day of lay until the day of processing.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Science and Technology, The University of Georgia, Griffin, Georgia 30223-1797, USA 2: American Egg Board/Egg Nutrition Center, 1050 17th Street N.W., Suite 560, Washington, D.C. 20036, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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