Food-Borne Bacteria Found on Egg Processing Carts

US - Egg processing plant carts can harbour bacteria that cause food-borne diseases such as Salmonella, according to Michael Musgrove of the ARS Egg Safety and Quality Research Unit at the Richard B. Russell Research Center in Athens, Georgia.
calendar icon 8 April 2010
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Plywood-shelved carts that are used to transport eggs into processing plants can harbour Enterobacteriaceae, according to a microbial survey conducted by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists on three visits to two processing plants in the southeastern United States.

Enterobacteriaceae, a bacterial family that includes the human pathogens Salmonella and Shigella, are known to contaminate the shell egg processing environment.

The researchers found 100 per cent prevalence for Enterobacteriaceae on carts at one plant and 80 per cent at the other.

Knowing which bacteria are present and their location are vital pieces of information in developing strategies to reduce and remove bacterial contamination.

The findings of this survey will be used by microbiologists working with the shell egg industry and regulators to encourage development of better sanitation procedures or the use of shelving materials that are easier to clean.

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