Advanced oxidation process sanitization of eggshell surfaces

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Abstract

The microbial quality of eggs entering the hatchery represents an important critical control point for biosecurity and pathogen reduction programs in integrated poultry production. The development of safe and effective interventions to reduce microbial contamination on the surface of eggs will be important to improve the overall productivity and microbial food safety of poultry and poultry products. The hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and ultraviolet (UV) light advanced oxidation process is a potentially important alternative to traditional sanitizers and disinfectants for egg sanitation. The H2O2/UV advanced oxidation process was demonstrated previously to be effective in reducing surface microbial contamination on eggs. In this study, we evaluated treatment conditions affecting the efficacy of H2O2/UV advanced oxidation in order to identify operational parameters for the practical application of this technology in egg sanitation. The effect of the number of application cycles, UV intensity, duration of UV exposure, and egg rotation on the recovery of total aerobic bacteria from the surface of eggs was evaluated. Of the conditions evaluated, we determined that reduction of total aerobic bacteria from naturally contaminated eggs was optimized when eggs were sanitized using 2 repeated application cycles with 5 s exposure to 14 mW cm−2 UV light, and that rotation of the eggs between application cycles was unnecessary. Additionally, using these optimized conditions, the H2O2/UV process reduced Salmonella by greater than 5 log10 cfu egg−1 on the surface of experimentally contaminated eggs. This study demonstrates the potential for practical application of the H2O2/UV advanced oxidation process in egg sanitation and its effectiveness in reducing Salmonella on eggshell surfaces.

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