There are 4 objectives for the project emphasizing food safety, quality, and security
of shell eggs and egg products. <OL> <LI> To evaluate post-processing sanitizers and
sanitizing technologies for their benefits to the microbiological safety and quality
of shell eggs.<LI> To develop technologies and/or techniques to improve
processing plant sanitation practices. <LI> To develop, evaluate and validate
rapid detection methods for pathogens and toxins (for example: Staphylococcus aureus
and staphylococcal enterotoxins, Listeria, Vibrio and Yersinia species) which could
compromise food security in egg products, including liquid egg. <LI> To examine
differences in microbial flora associated with the eggs from alternative agriculture
The five year project plan for the Egg Safety, Quality and Security ARS Research
Program will address issues of concern for the shell egg and egg products industry,
regulatory personnel, allied industry and consumers. Emphasis will be placed on
determining the role post-processing shell surface sanitizers play in product safety
and quality. Novel compounds as well as application technologies will be examined.
Furthermore, processing plant sanitation will be more thoroughly assessed to
determine points where interventions could increase sanitation program effectiveness.
Procedures will include evaluating equipment surfaces for improved cleaning methods.
This will be of particular interest for both regulators and the industry with the
advent of new processing regulations. With the recent importance of food security,
rapid detection techniques for potential biological terror pathogens that could be
introduced into liquid egg product will be evaluated. Through this objective, a
greater understanding of intercepting potential agricultural threats will be gleaned.
This project plan encompasses a large body of work that will result in safer, higher
quality shell eggs and egg products for the consumer. Agricultural production
practices have become more diverse to meet consumer demands. The microbial flora of
eggs from alternative production will be compared to traditional production to gain a
better understanding of their potential impact on egg safety.