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Egg Safety in the Realm of Preharvest Food Safety

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  • Authors: Manpreet Singh1, Jagpinder Brar2
  • Editors: Kalmia Kniel3, Siddhartha Thakur4
  • VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907; 2: Department of Food Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907; 3: Department of Animal and Food Science, University of Delaware, Newark, DE; 4: North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Raleigh, NC
  • Source: microbiolspec August 2016 vol. 4 no. 4 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.PFS-0005-2014
  • Received 19 September 2014 Accepted 22 April 2015 Published 26 August 2016
  • Manpreet Singh, Manpreet@purdue.edu
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  • Abstract:

    Eggs are nutritious, yet they are a highly perishable commodity like other protein sources such as meat. Even though steps are taken all along the production process of shell eggs, from farm to table, the potential for contamination of the shells and egg contents poses a high risk to consumers. The main sources of contamination can be categorized as vertical transmission, in which the layers can be carriers of pathogens and can pass them on during egg formation, and horizontal transmission, in which environmental factors such as water, feed, layer houses, and personnel are the main source of contamination. Ongoing preharvest practices might not be enough to completely eliminate pathogens from shell eggs; however, consistently following good practices along with proper handling during transportation and retail sale and by consumers can be significant in reducing the risk. This article discusses the various aspects of production practices, their potential for cross-contamination, and decontamination technologies for shell eggs.

  • Citation: Singh M, Brar J. 2016. Egg Safety in the Realm of Preharvest Food Safety. Microbiol Spectrum 4(4):PFS-0005-2014. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.PFS-0005-2014.

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2016-08-26
2017-11-22

Abstract:

Eggs are nutritious, yet they are a highly perishable commodity like other protein sources such as meat. Even though steps are taken all along the production process of shell eggs, from farm to table, the potential for contamination of the shells and egg contents poses a high risk to consumers. The main sources of contamination can be categorized as vertical transmission, in which the layers can be carriers of pathogens and can pass them on during egg formation, and horizontal transmission, in which environmental factors such as water, feed, layer houses, and personnel are the main source of contamination. Ongoing preharvest practices might not be enough to completely eliminate pathogens from shell eggs; however, consistently following good practices along with proper handling during transportation and retail sale and by consumers can be significant in reducing the risk. This article discusses the various aspects of production practices, their potential for cross-contamination, and decontamination technologies for shell eggs.

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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1
FIGURE 1

A battery cage housing system for laying hens. Credit: Dr. Kenneth E. Anderson, Director, North Carolina Layer Performance and Management Program, North Carolina State University.

Source: microbiolspec August 2016 vol. 4 no. 4 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.PFS-0005-2014
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Image of FIGURE 2
FIGURE 2

A free-range housing system for laying hens. Credit: Dr. Kenneth E. Anderson, Director, North Carolina Layer Performance and Management Program, North Carolina State University.

Source: microbiolspec August 2016 vol. 4 no. 4 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.PFS-0005-2014
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Tables

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TABLE 1

Vaccination program for commercial layers

Source: microbiolspec August 2016 vol. 4 no. 4 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.PFS-0005-2014
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TABLE 2

Decontamination processes and their effect on reduction of pathogens from shell eggs

Source: microbiolspec August 2016 vol. 4 no. 4 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.PFS-0005-2014

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