Journal of food protection vol:70 issue:3 pages:623-628
Egg weight, shell thickness, number of pores, cuticle deposition, eggshell strength (dynamic stiffness and damping ratio), and the ability of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (SE) to penetrate the eggshell were determined. Penetration was assessed by filling the eggs with a selective medium that allowed viewing of Salmonella growth on the inside of the shell and membrane complex. After inoculation of each shell with on average 2.71 log CFU, the eggs were stored for up to 14 days at 20 degrees C and 60% relative humidity. Commercially available eggs were used. At 14 days of storage, only 6.0% of the eggs from free-range hens and 16.0% of the generic (i.e., eggs from hens in conventional battery cages that were given standard feed) white eggs were penetrated. The generic brown, organic, and omega-3-enriched eggs were penetrated at a frequency of 30 to 34%. In a second experiment it was shown that the layer strains of the hen (ISA-Brown Warren versus Bovans Goldline), which were kept in furnished cages, did not affect eggshell penetration by SE. For Bovans Goldline hens, the housing system (furnished cage versus aviary) did not affect penetration, while a trend was visible toward a higher fraction of penetrated eggshells when hens were fed corncob mix rather than standard feed. Eggshell penetration was observed more frequently in the absence of cuticle spots and for eggs having lower dynamic stiffness values. Shell contamination at the end of storage was highly correlated with SE penetration.