The emergence of grade A eggs as a major source of Salmonella enteritidis infections. New implications for the control of salmonellosis

JAMA. 1988 Apr 8;259(14):2103-7.


From 1976 to 1986, reported Salmonella enteritidis infections increased more than sixfold in the northeastern United States. From January 1985 to May 1987, sixty-five foodborne outbreaks of S enteritidis were reported in the Northeast that were associated with 2119 cases and 11 deaths. Twenty-seven (77%) of the 35 outbreaks with identified food vehicles were caused by Grade A shell eggs or foods that contained such eggs. National data from 1973 to 1984 showed that S enteritidis outbreaks (44%) were more frequently associated with egg-containing foods than were outbreaks of other Salmonella serotypes (15%). Reflecting the geographic distribution of human illness, cultures of bulk raw eggs from pasteurization plants in the Northeast more frequently yielded S enteritidis (10%) than did eggs from other regions of the United States (0%). The epidemic rise in S enteritidis infections due to Grade A shell eggs is unlike past problems of salmonellosis associated with cracked or soiled eggs and raises the possibility of trans-ovarian contamination of eggs with S enteritidis. New techniques may therefore be needed to control resurgent egg-associated salmonellosis in the United States.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Chickens
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Eggs / adverse effects*
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Salmonella Infections / epidemiology
  • Salmonella Infections / etiology*
  • Salmonella Infections / prevention & control
  • Salmonella enteritidis / isolation & purification
  • United States