5.1 Practical Applications
The results obtained for our experiment can be used to inform the general public about the effects of washing; starting with the SST community. We would be able to inform the public that eggs should not be washed since the protective layer, bloom would be washed away making the egg shell permeable allowing bacteria to enter the egg.
A practical application of this experiment that is done by the Ministry of Health is an online food safety bulletin. This includes choosing the proper eggs, example eggs without hairline cracks, and handle and cook eggs properly for safe consumption (National Environment Agency, 2015).
Even though NEA has come up with a safety guideline for the public, we feel that majority of people do not look at it based on our survey results. Based on our experiment, we hope to create brochures or put up the poster around the school to inform SST students on the result of our experiment. This can allow students to inform their parents to not wash the eggs they bought. We could also brief the canteen vendors that sell eggs to not wash their eggs before storing and if they fry their eggs, the white and yolk should not be runny as that also increase the chances of salmonellosis.
5.2 Areas for further study
While our experiment only investigates the effect of washing on the growth of bacteria on egg shell, we feel the need to dig deeper into the topic.
An area we would like to further study is whether Salmonella can actually be beneficial to us. Salmonella is generally harmful and causes diarrhea and fever, which may make people feel extremely sick. However, we might just be swallowing what we thought was harmful in a few years’ time. Scientists are reprogramming Salmonella bacteria to transport virus-stopping enzymes harmlessly. This can effectively treat viral infections. Scientists tested this method on mice that were infected with cytomegalovirus, which may be fatal to humans or cause mental retardation in newborns. Ribozymes were also cloned into the Salmonella bacteria. Ribozymes are enzymes that are able to target and cut specific RNA molecules within viruses, but they are unable to penetrate infected cells on their own (Coxworth, 2011). However, Salmonella can easily penetrate the cells. According to Coxworth in 2011,when the Salmonella was given orally to the mice, the viral load in the animals that received the bacteria containing the good ribozymes ended up being 400 to 600 times lower than in the mice that received the defective ribozymes, or that received no Salmonella at all. This proves that the Salmonella, together with the ribozyme was effective in treating cytomegalovirus.
Another area that we can further study in future is Salmonella in vegetables. In the US, a report was issued by the Interagency food Analytics Collaboration that the top source of foodborne illness is vegetables with Salmonella being the fourth most common and severe pathogens. Seedy vegetables make up 18% of Salmonella cases as compared to the focus of our current project, 12% in eggs (J., 2015). Despite the number of Salmonella in vegetable cases in Singapore being uncommon, it is still a cause of worry as it is unknown to many. Similar to eggs, Salmonella occurs on vegetables when it is washed too roughly which removes the protective layer (B., 2012).
We feel that this two areas could be further investigated as it is unknown to public. When one talks about Salmonella, negative thoughts instantly comes to mind. If studies to further experiment and research on the benefits of Salmonella; the results could be useful in the medical and biotechnology industries in the near future. This may also help improve the lives and health of citizens. Conducting an experiment on Salmonella in vegetables could be useful for the public to know the safety precautions to take when handling vegetables-whether they should wash it or how long they could wash it. Furthermore, with the skills we have obtained from this experiment, we will be able to conduct bacteria test using agar plate more effectively and accurately.