We examined 20 300 raw shell chicken eggs sold at retail stores in Japan for Salmonella outside and inside eggs. The eggs were purchased at 220 retail stores throughout Japan between August 2007 and January 2008. Of 2030 pooled egg samples (10 eggs/sample), Salmonella was isolated from five shell samples (0·25%), but not from any of egg-content samples. The serovars of the isolates were Salmonella Enteritidis (2), S. Derby, S. Livingstone and S. Cerro. The samples positive for Salmonella originated from five different egg grading and packaging (GP) centres. All the GP centres washed their egg shells according to government guidelines for hygienic practice in GP centres. Thus, practical control measures at GP centres need to be reviewed and implemented to diminish Salmonella prevalence of egg shells because Salmonella contamination on eggs is a potential hazard for foodborne salmonellosis in Japan.
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