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Keywords:

  • microbial pathogen;
  • food safety;
  • risk assessment

ABSTRACT

A stochastic model estimating growth of Salmonella Enteritidis during egg collection, processing, storage, and transportation is described. The model contains equations for internal egg temperature, yolk membrane integrity, and exponential growth rate of S. Enteritidis. Monte Carlo simulations determined that no growth was likely to occur during the average 4.5 d of the egg's progression from lay through transportation. However, various time-temperature combinations affected the subsequent abuse an egg can withstand before S. Enteritidis growth begins. Scenarios demonstrated the relative importance of ambient air temperature and indicated the greatest safety improvements in this phase for shell eggs would result from preventing unrefrigerated storage or hastening cooling immediately after lay.