Food Safety Research Information Office
Title:Microbiological, Immunological, and Product Quality Consequences of Housing Laying Hens in Production Systems
Objective:

1. Evaluate the role of various production and management systems and storage and processing practices on egg safety (and quality). This project focuses on critical points that may influcence USDA shell egg grade standards and federally mandated conditions.

2. Evaluate the role of various production and management systems on the detection, transmission, and persistence of Salmonella spp. in eggs and the surrounding production environment (e.g. flocks and house contamination).

3. Evaluate the role of various production and management systems on the effectiveness of shell egg processing guidelines utilized in the U.S.

More Info:
Approach: Egg safety and quality issues often initiate in production and storage before entering the processing facility. There is a need for a farm-to-fork approach to product safety and quality, especially in light of new federal regulations and increased interest in alternative housing systems to replace housing hens in cages. Research will serve today’s fully integrated and streamlined egg industry most effectively if it covers the full scope of egg production to processing. Additionally, strategies to assist small flock egg producers enhance product safety and quality will also be developed. These goals will be accomplished by assessing the role of production systems on naturally occurring flora and pathogens in and on shell eggs, evaluating the effects of federally mandated storage conditions on the microbial and physical quality of eggs from various production systems, and developing processing and storage options for small flock egg producers to ensure egg safety and quality. The poultry house environment plays a highly significant role in Salmonella infections of laying flocks. This research will determine how different production systems for housing laying hens affect the transmission and persistence of experimentally introduced Salmonella infection or house contamination and the associated frequency and nature of egg contamination. It will also determine how different production systems affect the detection of Salmonella in laying flocks and their housing environment, and evaluate the performance of testing methodologies for detecting S. Enteritidis and other Salmonella spp. in flocks and eggs from different production systems to develop rapid, sensitive, and cost-effective testing strategies.
Funding Source:United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
Type:Appropriated
Start Date:2011
End Date:2016
Project Number:6612-32420-001-00
Accession Number:420959
Institutions:USDA/ARS - South Atlantic Area
Investigators:Gast, Richard
Holt, Peter
Jones, Deana
Project Reports:2013 Annual Report
2012 Annual Report
2011 Annual Report
Published Journal
Articles USDA
ARS (NP 108):
Contamination of eggs by Salmonella Enteritidis in experimentally infected laying hens housed in conventional or enriched cages
Gast RK, Guraya R, Jones DR, Anderson K .
Poult Sci. 2014 Mar;93(3):728-33.
Housing system and laying hen strain impacts on egg microbiology
Jones DR, Anderson KE.
Poult Sci. 2013 Aug;92(8):2221-5.
Colonization of internal organs by Salmonella Enteritidis in experimentally infected laying hens housed in conventional or enriched cages
Gast RK, Guraya R, Jones DR, Anderson KE.
Poult Sci. 2013 Feb;92(2):468-73.
Salmonella enteritidis deposition in eggs after experimental infection of laying hens with different oral doses
Gast RK, Guraya R, Guard J.
J Food Prot. 2013 Jan;76(1):108-13.
Continuing multiplication of Salmonella Enteritidis strains in egg yolk during refrigeration at 7.2° C
Gast RK, Guraya R .
Int J Poult Sci. 2013;12(11):622-7.
Non-journal publications:
Answering Consumer Questions: Opportunity for Impact - (Proceedings)
Jones, D.R. 2013. Answering Consumer Questions: Opportunity for Impact. National Egg Quality School Proceedings. p. 47-51.
The Seven Principles of HACCP - (Proceedings)
Jones, D.R. 2013. The Seven Principles of HACCP. National Egg Quality School Proceedings. p.27-31.
Conducting Haugh Unit Assessments - (Proceedings)
Jones, D.R. 2013. Conducting Haugh Unit Assessments. National Egg Quality School Proceedings. p.48-49.
Assessing the Significance of Salmonella Heidelberg Infections in Egg-Laying Flocks - (Proceedings)
Gast, R.K. 2012. Assessing the Significance of Salmonella Heidelberg Infections in Egg-Laying Flocks. Trade Journal Publication. http://egg-cite.com/presentations/gast/slideshow.aspx.
Food Crystalization and Eggs - (Proceedings)
Jones, D.R. 2012. Food Crystalization and Eggs. National Egg Products School Proceedings. p. 11.1-11.8.
Handling Consumer Questions - (Proceedings)
Jones, D.R. 2012. Handling Consumer Questions. National Egg Quality School Proceedings. May 20-23, 2012, Indianapolis, IN. 4:48-49.
The Basics of HACCP - (Proceedings)
Jones, D.R. 2012. The Basics of HACCP. National Egg Quality School Proceedings. May 20-24, 2012, Indianapolis, IN. 5:27-31.
Haugh Unit: Gold Standard of Egg Quality - (Proceedings)
Jones, D.R. 2012. Haugh Unit: Gold Standard of Egg Quality. National Egg Quality School Proceedings. May 20-24, 2012, Indianapolis, IN. 7:47-51.
Microbiological differences between laying hen strains housed in various production systems. - (Abstract Only)
Jones, D.R., Anderson, K., Guard, J.Y., Gast, R.K. 2012. Microbiological differences between laying hen strains housed in various production systems. Poultry Science. 91(supp):27.
Salmonella Enteritidis Deposition inside Eggs after Experimental Infection of Laying Hens with Different Oral Doses - (Abstract Only)
Gast, R.K., Guraya, R., Guard, J.Y. 2012. Salmonella Enteritidis Deposition inside Eggs after Experimental Infection of Laying Hens with Different Oral Doses. Poultry Science Association. 91(Supplement 1):28.
Detecting Salmonella Enteritidis in Laying Hens and Eggs after Experimental Infection at Different Oral Dose Levels - (Abstract Only)
Gast, R.K., Guraya, R., Guard, J.Y., Holt, P.S. 2012. Detecting Salmonella Enteritidis in Laying Hens and Eggs after Experimental Infection at Different Oral Dose Levels. International Association for Food Protection. 74(SupplementA):52.
Controlling Egg Contamination by Understanding Salmonella Enteritidis Infections in Laying Hens - (Proceedings)
Gast, R.K., Guard, J.Y. 2012. Controlling Egg Contamination by Understanding Salmonella Enteritidis Infections in Laying Hens. World Wide Web. http://egg-cite.com/presentations/NCADC/Slideshow.aspx.
Isolation of Salmonella Enteritidis from Internal Organs of Experimentally Infected Laying Hens Housed in Conventional or Enriched Cages - (Abstract Only)
Accepted Publication (12-Mar-12)
Pathogen Prevalence From Traditional Cage and Free Range Production - (Proceedings)
Jones, D.R., Anderson, K., Guard, J.Y. 2012. Pathogen Prevalence From Traditional Cage and Free Range Production. National Egg Regulatory Officials Annual Meeting. p.68-70.
Salmonella Enteritidis - (Book / Chapter)
Accepted Publication (07-Feb-12)
Controlling Egg Contamination By Understanding Salmonella Enteritidis Infections In Laying Hens - (Abstract Only)
Gast, R.K., Guard, J.Y. 2012. Controlling Egg Contamination By Understanding Salmonella Enteritidis Infections In Laying Hens. Proceedings of North Central Avian Disease Conference. p. 49.
Salmonella Infections - (Book / Chapter)
Accepted Publication (31-Oct-11)
Paratyphoid Infections - (Book / Chapter)
Accepted Publication (31-Oct-11)
Controlling Egg Contamination with Salmonella Enteritidis by Understanding its Pathobiology - (Proceedings)
Gast, R.K., Guard, J.Y. 2011. Controlling Egg Contamination with Salmonella Enteritidis by Understanding its Pathobiology. PoultryMed. Available:http://www.poultrymed.com/Poultry/Templates/ShowPage.asp?.
Factors that Affect the Microbiology of Commercial Shell Egg Processing - (Proceedings)
Musgrove, M.T. 2011. Factors that Affect the Microbiology of Commercial Shell Egg Processing. National Egg Products School Proceedings. p. 1-5.
Microbiological Sampling Procedures for Eggs - (Proceedings)
Musgrove, M.T. 2011. Microbiological Sampling Procedures for Eggs. National Egg Products School Proceedings. p. 1-4.
Controlling Egg Contamination with Salmonella Enteritidis by Understanding its Pathobiology - (Proceedings)
Gast, R.K., Guard, J.Y. 2011. Controlling Egg Contamination with Salmonella Enteritidis by Understanding its Pathobiology. In: Proceedings of the 22nd Latin American Poultry Congress, 2011. CDROM.
Eggs and Egg Products - (Book / Chapter)
Accepted Publication (26-May-11)
A Role for Vaccination to Control Salmonella in Poultry Flocks - (Proceedings)
Gast, R.K. 2011. A Role for Vaccination to Control Salmonella in Poultry Flocks. Electronic Publication. http://www.poultrymed.com/Poultry/Templates/showpage.asp?DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=352&PID=12487.
Understanding the Haugh Unit - (Proceedings)
Jones, D.R. 2011. Understanding the Haugh Unit. Proceedings of the National Egg Quality School.V1:30-31.
Egg Ambassadors: Answering Consumer Questions - (Proceedings)
Jones, D.R. 2011. Egg Ambassadors: Answering Consumer Questions. Proceedings of the National Egg Quality School.IV:30-34.
The Principles of HACCP - (Proceedings)
Jones, D.R. 2011. The Principles of HACCP. Proceedings of the National Egg Quality School.V:37-41.
Prevalence of Pathogens Associated with Eggs and the Environment of Conventional Cage and Free Range Egg Production - (Abstract Only)
Jones, D.R., Anderson, K.E., Guard, J.Y. 2011. Prevalence of Pathogens Associated with Eggs and the Environment of Conventional Cage and Free Range Egg Production. Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract. Poultry Science: Paper 75.
Fecal shedding and internal organ colonization following exposure of laying hens to different oral doses of Salmonella Enteritidis - (Abstract Only)
Gast, R.K., Guraya, R., Guard, J.Y., Holt, P.S. 2011. Fecal shedding and internal organ colonization following exposure of laying hens to different oral doses of Salmonella Enteritidis. Poultry Science Symposium Proceedings. Poultry Science. (E supplement 1):2.
A Role for Vaccination to Control Salmonella in Poultry Flocks - (Proceedings)
Gast, R.K. 2011. A Role for Vaccination to Control Salmonella in Poultry Flocks. American College of Poultry Veterinarians. Vol 1:54-59.
Bacterial Immunity - (Proceedings)
Accepted Publication (28-Feb-11)
Food Safety Categories:On-Farm Food Safety
Government Policy and Regulations
Farm-to-Table categories:On-farm food production
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