Epidemiology and Infection

Research Article

Contamination of hands and work surfaces with Salmonella enteritidis PT4 during the preparation of egg dishes

T. J. Humphreya1, K. W. Martina1 and A. Whiteheada1

a1 Food Unit, Public Health Laboratory, Church Lane, Heavitree, Exeter EX2 5AD


Salmonella enteritidis PT4 was recovered from fingers following the breaking of intact shell eggs artificially contaminated in the contents with the bacterium. Kitchen utensils used to mix egg dishes were salmonella-positive, sometimes after washing. Following the preparation of batter or the mixing of eggs, S. enteritidis was recovered from work surfaces over 40 cm from the mixing bowl. The bacterium survived well in thin, dry films of either batter or egg and, from an initial level of one cell per cm2, could be recovered from formica work surfaces 24 h after contamination.

(Accepted July 12 1994)