Microbiological Spoilage of Eggs and Egg Products

Part of the Food Microbiology and Food Safety book series (FMFS)


Chicken eggs are the eggs most commonly consumed by humans. The US per capita consumption was 255 eggs in 2005. Approximately 77 billion eggs were produced in the USA in 2005 (American Egg Board, 2005). Of these about 30% were further processed in some manner and the remainder were consumed as whole shell eggs. The greatest increase in production and consumption of eggs, however, is in the developing countries. China is now the number one producer of eggs, with the USA second, and India third. In fact, developing countries currently have >67% of the global egg production share (Clark, 2007). Only a small percentage of eggs are exported because shell eggs are relatively difficult to transport.


Shelf Life Whey Protein Isolate Modify Atmosphere Packaging Vitelline Membrane Microbial Spoilage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). (2000). Egg-Grading Manual. Agricultural Handbook Number 75 (p. 11). http://www.ams.usda.gov/Poultry/pdfs/EggGrading%20manual.pdf, viewed December 21, 2007.
  2. American Egg Board. (2006). Egg Industry Facts Sheet. http://www.aeb.org/Industry/Facts/FactsSheet.htm, viewed June 13, 2006.
  3. Ball, H. R. Jr., Hamid-Samimi, M., Foegeding, P. M., & Swartzel, K. R. (1987). Functionality and microbial stability of ultrapasteurized, aseptically packaged refrigerated whole egg. Journal of Food Science, 52, 1212–1218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Banasiak, K. (2005). News. Food Technology, 59, 12.Google Scholar
  5. Board, R. G., & Tranter, H. S. (1995). The microbiology of eggs. In W. J. Stadelman & O. J. Cotterhill (Eds.), Egg science and technology (8th ed., pp. 81–104). New York: Haworth Food Products Press.Google Scholar
  6. Brady, D., Gaines, S., Fenelon, L., McPartlin, J., & O’Farrelly, C. (2002). A lipoprotein-derived antimicrobial factor from hen-egg yolk is active against Streptococcus species. Journal of Food Science, 67, 3096–3103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen, J., Thesmar, H. S., & Kerr, W. L. (2005). Outgrowth of salmonellae and the physical property of albumen and the vitelline membrane as influenced by egg storage conditions. Journal of Food Protection, 68, 2553–2558.Google Scholar
  8. Clark, E. (2007). Major changes in global egg production. http://www.wattpoultry.com/EggIndustry/Article.aspx?id=15040 viewed July 13, 2007.
  9. Cox, J. M. (2001). Eggs and egg products. In C. J. Moir, C. Andrew-Kabilafkas, G. Arnold, B. M. Cox, A. D. Hocking, & I. Jenson (Eds.), Spoilage of processed foods: causes and diagnosis (pp. 165–176). Sydney: AIFST Inc. (NSWBranch) Food microbiology group.Google Scholar
  10. Cox, J. P., Cox, R. W. D., & Cox, J. M. (1999). Method for processing poultry shell eggs. United States Patent 5, 939, 118. August, 17, 1999.Google Scholar
  11. Davidson, L. J. (2001). Pasteurized in-shell chicken eggs and method for production thereof. United States Patent 6, 322, 833. November, 27, 2001.Google Scholar
  12. Department for Environmental Food and Rural Affairs. (2007). Guidance on legislation covering the marketing of eggs. EMRI, rev. 08/2007. http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/regulat/forms/livestock_prods/eggs/emr1.pdf, viewed January 4, 2008.
  13. Fields, M. L. (1979). Microbiology of eggs and egg products. In Fundamentals of food microbiology (pp. 142–149). Westport, Connecticut: AVI Publishing.Google Scholar
  14. Florian, M. L. E., & Trussel, P. C. (1957). Bacterial spoilage of shell eggs. IV. Identification of spoilage organisms. Food Technology, 11, 56–60.Google Scholar
  15. Foegeding, P. M., & Stanley, N. W. (1987). Growth and inactivation of microorganisms isolated from ultrapasteurized egg. Journal of Food Science, 52, 1219–1227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). (2007). Egg products fact sheet. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Focus_On_Shell_Eggs/index.asp, viewed December 17, 2007.
  17. Fromm, D., & Monroe, R. D. (1960). Interior physical quality and bacterial contamination of market eggs as influenced by egg shell permeability. Food Technology, 14, 401–403.Google Scholar
  18. Gongora-Nieto, M. M., Seignour, L., Riquet, P., Davidson, P. M., Barbosa-Canovas, G. V., & Swanson, B. G. (2001). Nonthermal inactivation of Pseudomonas fluorescens in liquid whole egg. In G. V. Barbosa-Canovas & Q. H. Zhang (Eds.), Pulsed electric fields in food processing: fundamental aspects and applications (pp. 193–211). Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Technomic Publishers.Google Scholar
  19. Hutchinson, M. L., Gittins, J., Walker, A., Sparks, N., Humphrey, T. J., Burton, C., et al. (2004). An assessment of the microbiological risks involved with egg washing under commercial conditions. Journal of Food Protection, 67, 4–11.Google Scholar
  20. Jones, D. R., Musgrove, M. T., & Northcutt, J. K. (2004). Variations in external and internal microbial populations in shell eggs during extended storage. Journal of Food Protection, 67, 2657–2660.Google Scholar
  21. Kraft, A. A., McNally, E. H., & Brant, A. W. (1958). Shell quality and bacterial infection of shell eggs. Poultry Science, 37, 638–644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. MacKenzie, K. A., & Skerman, V. B. D. (1982). Microbial spoilage in unpasteurized liquid whole egg. Food Technology Australia, 34, 524–528.Google Scholar
  23. Messens, W., Grijspeerdt, K., de Reu, K., De Ketelaere, B., Mertens, K., Bamelis, F., et al. (2007). Eggshell penetration of various types of hens’ eggs by Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis. Journal of Food Protection, 70, 623–628.Google Scholar
  24. Musgrove, M. T., Northcutt, J. K., Jones, D. R., Cox, N. A., & Harrison, M. A. (2008). Enterobacteriaceae and related organisms isolated from shell eggs collected during commercial processing. Poultry Science, 87, 1211–1218.Google Scholar
  25. Musgrove, M. T., Jones, D. R., Northcutt, J. K, Harrison, M. A., & Cox, N. A. (2005). Impact of commercial processing on the microbiology of shell eggs. Journal of Food Protection, 68, 2367–2375.Google Scholar
  26. Nascimento, V. P., & Solomon, S. E. (1991). The transfer of bacteria (Salmonella enteriditis) across the egg shell wall of eggs classified as “poor quality”. Animal Technology, 42, 157–165.Google Scholar
  27. No, H. K., Park, N. Y., Lee, S. H., & Meyers, S. P. (2002). Antibacterial activity of chitosan and chitosan oligomers with different molecular weights. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 74, 65–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. No, H. K., Prinyawiwatkul, W., & Meyers, S. P. (2005). Comparison of shelf life of eggs coated with chitosans prepared under various deproteinization and demineralization times. Journal of Food Science, 70, S377–S382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ray, B. (2004). Spoilage of specific food groups. In B. Ray (Ed.), Fundamental food microbiology (pp. 269–288). Boca Raton: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  30. Rahn, H., Christensen, V. L., & Edens, F. W. (1981). Changes in shell conductance, pores, and physical dimensions of egg and shell during the first breeding cycle of turkey hens. Poultry Science, 60, 2536–2541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ricke, S., Birkhold, S. G., & Gast, R. K. (2001). Eggs and egg products. In F. P. Downes & K. Ito (Eds.), Compendium of Methods for the Microbiological Examination of Foods, (4th ed., pp. 473–481). Washington, DC: American Public Health Association.Google Scholar
  32. Xie, L., Hettiarachchy, N. S., Ju, Z. Y., Meullenet, J., Wang, H., Slavik, M. F., et al. (2002). Edible film coating to minimize eggshell breakage and reduce post-wash bacterial contamination measured by dye penetration in eggs. Journal of Food Science, 67, 280–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. York, L. R., & Dawson, L. E. (1973). Shelf-life of pasteurized liquid whole egg. Poultry Science, 52, 1657–1658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cargill, Inc.WayzataUSA

Personalised recommendations