Although controlled commercial eggs are always disinfected, there are still salmonella outbreaks and isolated diseases from year to year. The disease associated with unpleasant diarrhoea can be safely avoided with a professional, modern disinfection procedure for the eggshell, which is recommended primarily for egg-producing professionals.
From a food safety point of view, eggs are an increasingly dangerous product as they can be contaminated with various pathogens during production, storage and processing. The risk of infection is mainly caused by bacteria adhering to the eggshell, such as Salmonella species, Bacillus cereus, Campylobacter species or Staphylococcus aureus. Of these, Salmonella is usually a problem, and although this infection is not common in the case of eggs – the proportion of infected eggs in Hungary is well below 1 % – we can produce very unpleasant symptoms if we do catch it.
It would be logical to wash the eggs before storage, but this just increases the risk of infection: moisture increases the chances that bacteria can get inside the egg along with the water infiltrating the pores of the eggshell. Washing can also damage the protein layer that thinly covers the egg, the cuticle, which also helps bacteria that may be present on the shell to get into the egg.
How, then, can we protect ourselves against pathogens present in eggshells, especially salmonella?
A new option: disinfection using Nanosept Aqua
Eggs are already disinfected (with ozone or UV light) before being placed on the market, but bacteria may still remain on the eggshell. If we want to be on the safe side, we can use Nanosept Aqua to disinfect the eggs again before storing or utilizing them.
The process is very simple:
- Make a 10x dilution of the Nanosept Aqua liquid, then spray it onto the eggs to be disinfected. Or make a 20-30x dilution solution in a container in which the eggs can soak for a few hours.
- Use purified, distilled or deionized water to prepare solutions, and do not mix with other chemicals. And if we are the ones who would sell the eggs later and want to provide a sure guarantee that the eggshell is truly salmonella-free, it is worth using a cold mist process in which Nanosept Aqua also provides a sufficiently effective disinfection.
How does cold mist process work?
The essence of the cold mist process is to produce droplets of 10-230 microns in size from the disinfectant in the disinfection chamber by means of a so-called mist generator. Disinfectant particles below 50 microns can float permanently, ensuring that the surface of eggs in an enclosed space is completely surrounded and covered in a thin layer.
The process consists of two main steps:
- During diffusion, the hydrogene peroxide and silver particle contents of Nanosept Aqua turn into a mist, the mist spreads in a closed chamber and begins to exert its effect on the microorganisms on the surfaces in the room.
- During the exposure period, the mist that was generated reacts with the microorganisms on the surfaces of the eggshell, causing the pathogens to die, but the original protective layer of the egg remains intact. Due to the silver particles, the spectrum of antimicrobial activity is wider than if only hydrogen peroxide was present.
The main advantages of the Nanosept solution:
- The fogging machine provides a strong air flow in the room, sprays the disinfectant into tiny droplets and keeps the formed droplets in a permanently floating state. All this allows the disinfectant drops to reach virtually any surface and surround the egg perfectly providing the best possible coverage to the eggs.
- The produced spray is delivered to the eggshell in an even, thin layer through a plastic nozzle. Tiny droplets thus reach hidden gaps and corners, too, providing a more thorough and effective result than any conventional disinfection procedure.
- Acquiring a fogging chamber requires much less material than purchasing equipment for ozone or UV light processes.
- The nanosilver coating on the eggshell provides extended protection in time, so the eggs can be protected from any pathogens that might get on their surface during transportation.
What is salmonella?
Salmonella bacteria cause food poisoning, especially acute enterocolitis, especially in the summer, and less frequently, extensive systemic infection (sepsis) affecting the whole bloodstream.
Salmonella infection can be caused by inadequately heat-treated eggs, unpasteurized milk, poultry and roast meat, and unwashed raw vegetables. Outbreaks are typically caused by non-compliance with basic hygiene and kitchen regulations.
In acute intestinal catarrh, the most common symptom is diarrhoea that can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, headache and muscle aches. High fever is also a common symptom. In most cases the symptoms go away without treatment within 4-7 days, but due to the severity of the diarrhoea, hospitalization may be necessary in some cases. In this case there is a chance that the pathogen will enter the bloodstream, causing a life-threatening condition and therefore requiring immediate antibiotic treatment.