Survey of Salmonella contamination of raw shell eggs used in food service premises in the United Kingdom, 2005 through 2006

C. L. Little, J. R. Rhoades, L. Hucklesby, M. Greenwood, S. Surman-Lee, F. J. Bolton, R. Meldrum, I. Wilson, C. McDonald, E. De Pinna, John Threlfall, C. H. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This survey was launched after an unusual number of Salmonella Enteritidis outbreaks associated with the use of eggs in food service premises in England and Wales. Between November 2005 and December 2006, 9,528 eggs (1,588 pooled samples of 6 eggs) were collected from 1,567 food service premises in the United Kingdom, most of which (89%) were produced in the United Kingdom. Salmonella was isolated from 6 (0.38%) pools of eggs. Of these, 5 (0.31%) were Salmonella Enteritidis, which were further characterized to phage types (PTs): PT 4 (0.19%), PT 8 (0.06%), and PT 12 (0.06%). Salmonella Mbandaka was also isolated (0.06%). Salmonella was detected from five and one of pooled eggs samples that were produced in the United Kingdom and Germany, respectively; these were from different producers. The study showed evidence of poor egg storage and handling practices in food service premises, in that 55% did not store eggs under refrigerated conditions; 20.7% of eggs had expired "best before" dates or were in use after 3 weeks of lay, indicating poor stock rotation; and 37.1% pooled eggs not intended for immediate service. Eggs are a commonly consumed food that may occasionally be contaminated with Salmonella at different rates, according to their country of origin. The food service sector needs to be aware of this continuing hazard, receive appropriate food safety and hygiene training on storage and usage of raw shell eggs, adopt appropriate control measures, and follow advice provided by national food agencies in order to reduce the risk of infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Food Protection
Volume71
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

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