Rapid inactivation of Salmonella enteritidis on shell eggs by plant-derived antimicrobials

Indu Upadhyaya, Abhinav Upadhyay, Anup Kollanoor-Johny, Sangeetha Ananda Baskaran, Shankumar Mooyottu, Michael J. Darre, Kumar Venkitanarayanan

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36 Scopus citations


Salmonella Enteritidis is a common foodborne pathogen transmitted to humans largely by consumption of contaminated eggs. The external surface of eggs becomes contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis from various sources on farms, the main sources being hens' droppings and contaminated litter. Therefore, effective egg surface disinfection is critical to reduce pathogens on eggs and potentially control egg-borne disease outbreaks. This study investigated the efficacy of GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status, plantderived antimicrobials (PDA), namely trans-cinnamaldehyde (TC), carvacrol (CR), and eugenol (EUG), as an antimicrobial wash for rapidly killing Salmonella Enteritidis on shell eggs in the presence or absence of chicken droppings. White-shelled eggs inoculated with a 5-strain mixture of nalidixic acid (NA) resistant Salmonella Enteritidis (8.0 log cfu/mL) were washed in sterile deionized water containing each PDA (0.0, 0.25, 0.5, or 0.75%) or chlorine (200 mg/kg) at 32 or 42°C for 30 s, 3 min, or 5 min. Approximately 6.0 log cfu/mL of Salmonella Enteritidis was recovered from inoculated and unwashed eggs. The wash water control and chlorine control decreased Salmonella Enteritidis on eggs by only 2.0 log cfu/mL even after washing for 5 min. The PDA were highly effective in killing Salmonella Enteritidis on eggs compared with controls (P < 0.05). All treatments containing CR and EUG reduced Salmonella Enteritidis to undetectable levels as rapidly as within 30 s of washing, whereas TC (0.75%) completely inactivated Salmonella Enteritidis on eggs washed at 42°C for 30 s (P < 0.05). No Salmonella Enteritidis was detected in any PDA or chlorine wash solution; however, substantial pathogen populations (~4.0 log cfu/mL) survived in the antibacterial-free control wash water (P < 0.05). The CR and EUG were also able to eliminate Salmonella Enteritidis on eggs to undetectable levels in the presence of 3% chicken droppings at 32°C (P < 0.05). This study demonstrates that PDA could effectively be used as a wash treatment to reduce Salmonella Enteritidis on shell eggs. Sensory and quality studies of PDA-washed eggs need to be conducted before recommending their use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3228-3235
Number of pages8
JournalPoultry science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Washington, DC, Grant #2010-01346.


  • Egg wash
  • Plant-derived antimicrobial
  • Salmonella enteritidis


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