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Poultry Science





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The Egg Safety Action Plan released in 1999 raised many questions concerning egg temperature used in the risk assessment model. Therefore, a national study by researchers in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas was initiated to determine the internal and external temperature sequence of eggs from oviposition through distribution. Researchers gathered data from commercial egg production, processing, and distribution facilities. The experimental design was a mixed model with random effects for season and a fixed effect for duration of the transport period (long or short haul). It was determined that processors used refrigerated transport trucks (REFER) as short-term storage (STS) in both the winter and summer. Therefore, this summary of data obtained from REFER also examines the impact of their use as STS. Egg temperature data were recorded for specific loads of eggs during transport to point of resale or distribution to retailers. To standardize data comparisons between loads, they were segregated between long and short hauls. The summer egg temperatures were higher in the STS and during delivery. Egg temperature was not significantly reduced during the STS phase. Egg temperature decreases were less (P < 0.0001) during short delivery hauls 0.6°C than during long hauls 7.8°C. There was a significant season × delivery interaction (P < 0.05) for the change in the temperature differences between the egg and ambient temperature indicated as the cooling potential. This indicated that the ambient temperature during long winter deliveries had the potential to increase egg temperature. The REFER used as STS did not appreciably reduce internal egg temperature. These data suggest that the season of year affects the temperature of eggs during transport. Eggs are appreciably cooled on the truck, during the delivery phase, which was contrary to the original supposition that egg temperatures would remain static during refrigerated transport. These data indicate that refrigerated transport should be a component in future assessments of egg safety.


This article is from Poultry Science 87 (2008): 1195, doi:10.3382/ps.2007-00236.


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