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Food safety: how eggs go bad

This year, the robotics theme is food safety. Each robotics team has to pick a topic that has to do with food safety. The Hope Love Robotics of Northome School chose eggs. The HLR team thought of many ideas and voted on this one to do.

In this article, you will read about how the egg gets from the hen to the table and our solution to keep this process safe.

HLR found out that eggs begin to spoil from the moment they are harvested. It starts at the intensive chicken farm when chickens lay their eggs. Intensive chicken farms are extremely unsanitary farms with limited moving space.

They also are deprived of their calcium which makes the chicken's eggs' shells thinner. E.Coli and salmonella try to get into the egg. After the egg has been laid, it will be sent to the factory.

At the factory, the eggs are pasteurized. After that they are sent to the stores in cartons and kept at 45º F until they are sold to costumers.

Our idea is to have egg-processing companies Gram stain the eggs to see if there is any E. Coli or salmonella on the eggs. This process is as follows.

Dunk the egg into a Gram staining dye called crystal violet for at least 30 seconds.

Next, you decolorize the egg with alcohol. The Gram positive bacteria keep the color of the crystal violet. Then, you dip the egg in safranin (the red Gram staining dye) for about the same amount of time. Gram negative bacteria will be a pinkish red color.

Next, the companies look at the egg and if it is more than 75 percent covered by dye, the companies throw them out.

After they are done Gram staining, the egg, they will wash the egg thoroughly. And have them packed and brought to the grocery store.

And finally, you buy, cook and enjoy your egg!

Gram staining should eliminate most salmonella and E. Coli outbreaks and make people feel much safer about eating eggs.