Egg handling hygiene to reduce food poisoning

Careful and hygienic handling of eggs through the supply chain, and in the kitchen, is vital for reducing Australia's outbreaks of salmonella poisoning, according to University of Adelaide research.

In a year-long sampling survey of poultry farms with caged chickens, the researchers did not find any instances of the most common cause of in Australia, the bacteria Salmonella Typhimurium, within the internal egg contents - even where there is known Salmonella Typhimurium-infected chickens.

"This is good news for the egg industry," says Dr Kapil Chousalkar, Senior Lecturer in the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences. "But now it puts focus on the external environment and handling of eggs because the salmonella can be transmitted on the eggs, and may even penetrate through the shell if they're not stored properly."

In Australia, egg and food products containing egg that's uncooked or lightly cooked are the most common source of salmonella outbreaks in people. The most common type, Salmonella Typhimurium, is the "biggest concern for from egg", says Dr Chousalkar.

A team of researchers at the University's Roseworthy Campus, led by Dr Chousalkar, is investigating the journey of salmonella "from farm to fork". The team will examine the extent of salmonella in chickens and contamination of eggs, and the transmission of salmonella from the environment to the bird and then onto the egg.

On an egg farm or in backyard hen houses, there are many potential sources of including the people who are handling the eggs, rodents, poultry feed or dust.

"Anyone handling eggs in restaurants or food production facilities - even in our own kitchens - should be extremely thorough with washing hands after touching eggs," says Dr Chousalkar.

"Even though buying eggs from the supermarket should be safe, I would still advise people to wash their hands carefully after handling them. If are cooked and handled properly, people are much less likely to get food poisoning."

It's also very important to refrigerate egg products as poor storage can enhance the multiplication of bacteria.

The researchers are following up with a study of the different potential sources of contamination on egg farms and in the to see what influences the level of found on egg shells.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Are the eggs sold at my supermarket safe to eat?

Aug 23, 2010

(AP) -- Two large Iowa farms have recalled 550 million eggs because of possible contamination with salmonella. Investigators from the Food and Drug Administration are trying to find the cause of the outbreak, ...

Danes contract Salmonella infections abroad

Jul 29, 2013

In 2012 the number of Salmonella cases increased slightly after the record low incidence in 2011. Nearly half of the Danes who contracted Salmonella were infected abroad. Among people infected in Denmark, Danish pork and ...

Admin. official: FDA to inspect large egg farms

Aug 28, 2010

(AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration is planning to inspect all of the country's largest egg farms before the end of next year following the massive recall of tainted eggs linked to a salmonella outbreak ...

Recommended for you

Africa's uneven health care becomes easy prey for Ebola

33 minutes ago

The disparity in African countries' ability to fight Ebola has left the continent fighting an uneven struggle against a disease that doesn't respect borders—yet relatively simple measures could help, experts say.

Ebola case stokes concerns for Liberians in Texas

1 hour ago

The first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. has been confirmed in a man who recently traveled from Liberia to Dallas, sending chills through the area's West African community whose leaders urged caution ...

Is Australia prepared for Ebola?

4 hours ago

Australia needs to be proactive about potential disease outbreaks like Ebola and establish a national centre for disease control.

Dallas hospital confirms first Ebola case in US

10 hours ago

A patient at a Dallas hospital has tested positive for Ebola, the first case of the disease to be diagnosed in the United States, federal health officials announced Tuesday.

User comments