Cool wash reduces egg pathogen levels

02-01-2007 | |

US researchers from the have discovered that egg producers can reduce the levels of Salmonella, Campylobacter and Listeria on eggs by using cool water instead of warm during a second commercial wash.

Using cool water helps the eggs to cool down more quickly, which reduces the risk of pathogen growth both inside and outside the shell, according to research published in the Journal of Food Safety in December.
The research findings may provide a simple method for reducing egg contamination.
The researchers from the US Department of Agriculture and the Auburn University tested three water temperature schemes in dual washing commercial systems. The first test used water at 49 degrees Celsius for both washes of the eggs.
The second used water at 49 degrees Celsius for the first wash and 24 degrees Celsius for the second. The third used water at 24 degrees Celsius  for both washes.
They found that using warm temperature water in a first wash and cooler water in a second wash could provide the greatest benefit by both reducing egg temperature and microbial levels.
While Salmonella, Campylobacter and Listeria were all detected in shell emulsion and wash-water samples from cool-water washing treatments, none were detected in the eggs contents throughout the storage period of eight weeks.