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The importance of disinfecting eggs in preventing salmonella

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7 de July de 2016 | Postado por Fornari

As the market is increasingly demanding with the quality of products, companies try to adapt to these new demands. The agricultural industry is still the main sector of the Brazilian economy that has been growing in recent years. In this scenario, the processes must be constantly evolving and always looking for an improvement in the quality of its products.

The egg disinfection process seeks to reduce or eliminate risks of contamination by microorganisms. Viruses, bacteria and fungi are some pathogens that can compromise both human health and quality of eggs and poultry of the industry.

Disinfection of eggs should ensure a good action in the treated shell and the disinfectant compound must act on a broad spectrum with the lowest rate of toxicity. The action should be fast in order not to spread the contamination and to not generate big additional costs to the production process.

There are several species of bacteria of the genus Salmonella. Among them, we highlight the S. pullorum, S. gallinarum, S. typhimurium and S. enteritidis, each of them with specific characteristics and can all cause different types of disease in both birds and humans.

Disinfection of eggs

The process of disinfection of eggs consists in reducing or eliminating pathogens that are contained in the eggs. There are several ways to accomplish this disinfection, whether chemical, by disinfectants or physical agents, such as disinfecting by filtration, radiation, dry heat and moist heat as a mechanical washing process.

A good solution for the disinfection of eggs are the washing, disinfecting and drying machines, which provide a good standardization of the process, ensuring health control and the temperature of the egg.


Salmonellosis is a disease caused by bacteria of the genus Salmonella, which can be subdivided into several serotypes. The most important species for the human population and the egg processing industry are Salmonella enteritides and Salmonella typhimurium, as they may cause gastroenteritis in humans and, in severe cases, lead to death.

The S. pullorum and S. gallinarum cause pullorum disease and fowl typhoid, respectively. These diseases have no importance in public health, but are devastating in animal production, causing huge losses to the production chain.

Transmission in eggs

Some studies have shown that the S. enteritidis infects the egg not only through the broken shell, but also quietly chicken’s ovaries, making their eggs infected before graduating shell.

The great majority of types of Salmonella live in tracts of animals and birds and is transmitted by food of animal origin. The American Statistics show that one in every 20,000 eggs may be contaminated, and in some regions, one in every 10,000 eggs, which increases the risk of acquiring the disease. Although this figure seem low, the consequences of infection of this bacteria are disastrous.

Strict hygiene measures are needed in poultry and egg production to prevent the disease from spreading. Care with animal waste is essential to prevent contamination of the environment, waters of rivers and plantations of vegetables and fruits.

Have any questions about it? Comment below and learn more about the importance of disinfection to combat pathogens!

disinfection of eggs

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