Infectious Diseases A-Z: Salmonella safety
5 New Ways to Stop Salmonella in Eggs
After the recent egg recalls, consumers are paying more attention towhat's in their egg cartons. While new regulations for eggs take effect, researchers are also searching for further solutions to help prevent Salmonella infection. Here are 5 new ways experts are trying to keep eggs safe from Salmonella.
"Pathogen-tight" Henhouses:Some farms already make the bottom 3 feet of the barn from concrete, so rats and mice cannot burrow their way in. And the most advanced ones also include systems of belts and fans that dry and then remove manure from the house as quickly as possible.
Vaccination:Vaccines can reduce hens' susceptibility to Salmonella, but they aren't able to prevent infection altogether--and critics charge that vaccines encourage farmers to relax their vigilance.
Pasteurization:Manufacturers already pasteurize egg yolks and whites of cracked eggs that are pooled for use in products like mayonnaise or Egg Beaters. The technology exists to pasteurize eggs in their shells, too, but the equipment and processing is still too expensive to have gained wide acceptance.
Rapid Cooling:Salmonella counts can skyrocket in an egg stored over 45°F, says Kevin M. Keener, PhD, associate professor of food science and food process engineer at Purdue University. He is developing a rapid-cooling process to create a thin layer of ice on the inside of the egg and cool it down to desirable levels within a few minutes.
Genetic Manipulation:"There are several American and French studies saying that some lines of hens are more resistant to infection than others," says Richard Gast, PhD, a microbiologist with the Egg Safety and Quality Research Unit of the USDA Agricultural Research Service, prompting hopes of manipulating the genetics of different lines of hens to create stronger resistance.
Video: Infectious Diseases A to Z: Preventing salmonella infection during Thanksgiving
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