Occurrence of Campylobacter in Commercially Broken Liquid Egg in Japan

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Samples of unpasteurized liquid egg (whole egg, egg yolk, and egg white) and pasteurized liquid whole egg were collected from egg-breaking facilities in Japan and were tested for the presence of Campylobacter. Isolates recovered were tested for freeze-thaw response, sensitivity to antimicrobials, and heat resistance. Campylobacter was isolated from 27.9% of unpasteurized liquid whole egg samples and 36.0% of unpasteurized liquid egg yolk samples. No Campylobacter was isolated from unpasteurized liquid egg white or pasteurized liquid whole egg samples. The contamination levels of Campylobacter ranged from <3 to 240/100 ml. Freeze-thaw response was tested by freezing and thawing liquid whole egg and egg yolk to examine whether those conditions influenced the survival rate. It was shown that freezing and thawing reduced Campylobacter counts. Sensitivity to all antimicrobials used in this study was observed in 47.6% of the isolates. The most predominant antibiotic resistance profile was similar to that of isolates from chicken. D 55°C-values of 0.16 to 0.38 min and 0.47 to 0.84 min were determined for Campylobacter isolates in liquid whole egg and egg yolk, respectively. These values were lower than those reported for Salmonella. The very weak heat tolerance of Campylobacter indicated that it could be eliminated at the current legal pasteurization condition. There is no safety concern for commercially broken pasteurized liquid egg pertaining to Campylobacter contamination.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Research and Development Division, Q. P. Corporation, 5-13-1, Sumiyoshi-cho, Fuchu-shi, Tokyo 183-0034, Japan. miki_sato@kewpie.co.jp 2: Research and Development Division, Q. P. Corporation, 5-13-1, Sumiyoshi-cho, Fuchu-shi, Tokyo 183-0034, Japan

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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