The sale of eggs like all other farm products is driven by consumer demand and perception. Many consumers currently believe cagefree, organically produced eggs have higher quality and are safer for consumption than eggs from hens housed in cage systems. There is also concern about the welfare of the birds that are housed in cage systems. Jones et al. reported that consumer concern has led to new challenges for poultry growers. Salmonella Enteritidis have been identified as one of the major pathogens associated with raw and undercooked shell eggs and egg products. With the focus on food safety and the welfare of birds, alternative systems to the conventional system are being introduced. The demand for cage-free or organic eggs is creating a trend that is shifting towards free-range and floor-reared birds. De Rue et al stated that the shift from conventional cage systems has increased the incidence of microbial contamination and reduced the quality of egg shells, especially eggs produced during warmer months. Ellen reported that the concentration of dust accumulated in the floor housing system, contributes to higher contamination of eggs with bacteria compared to hens raised in the cage systems.
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