Pooling raw shell eggs: Salmonella contamination and high risk practices in the United Kingdom food service sector

F. J. Gormley, C. L. Little, N. Murphy, E. De Pinna, James McLauchlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Salmonella contamination of pooled raw shelled egg mix (RSEM) used as an ingredient in lightly cooked or uncooked foods and high-risk kitchen hygiene practices in United Kingdom food service establishments using RSEM were investigated. Samples were collected from 934 premises. Salmonella was found in 1 (0.13%) of 764 RSEM samples, 2 (0.3%) of 726 samples from surfaces where ready-to-eat foods were prepared, and 7 (1.3%) of 550 cleaning cloths. Poor RSEM storage and handling practices were highlighted. Workers in 40% of the premises sampled failed to use designated utensils when RSEM was added to other ingredients, workers in 17% of the premises did not clean surfaces and utensils thoroughly after use with RSEM and before preparing other foods, only 42% of workers washed and dried their hands after handling eggs or RSEM, workers in 41% of the premises did not store RSEM at refrigeration temperature before use, and workers in 8% of the premises added RSEM to cooked rice at the end of cooking when preparing egg fried rice. Take-away premises, especially those serving Chinese cuisine, were least likely to have a documented food safety management system and awareness of the key food safety points concerning the use of RSEM compared with other food service premises (P < 0.0001). Food service businesses using RSEM must be aware of the continuing hazard from Salmonella, must adopt appropriate control measures, and must follow advice provided by national food agencies to reduce the risk of Salmonella infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-578
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Food Protection
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


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