This research project will investigate the ability of egg washing to reduce the level of salmonella present on the shell.
The objectives of the project are:<ol>
<li>To assess the current state of knowledge about the effectiveness of egg washing, by reviewing the published scientific, technical and government literature.
<li>To evaluate, from a technical and economic viewpoint, the practices used in other countries where egg washing is allowed and to assess the applicability of these practices to the UK industry.
<li>To quantify the extent of salmonella contamination within the egg and egg shells as a result of egg washing including microscopic examination to assess any structural damage.
Egg washing is an established method of cleaning eggs and, at present, is only permitted for Class B and C eggs in the UK, under the Egg (Marketing Standards) Regulations 1995.
There has been a significant amount of research into the effectiveness of egg washing which has suggested that it can result in eggs with a markedly reduced level of bacteria on the shell.
However, a Government review in 1996 suggested that the egg washing systems available at the time required a number of technical improvements to ensure that the process could be carried out properly.
<p>This research was commissioned to determine what (if any) improvements had been made since the last report and to assess the ability of egg washing to reduce the level of salmonella present on the shell.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.