Community Magazine

Keeping Your Eggs Safe to Eat

By Jean Campbell

eggs

Eggs are inexpensive, tasty and nutritious, which makes them so popular. However, they need to be handled, prepared and stored properly to prevent food poisoning. According to the US Food and Drug Administration even eggs with clean, uncracked shells may occasionally contain bacteria called Salmonella that can cause an intestinal infection.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that about 142,000 illnesses each year are caused by consuming eggs contaminated with Salmonella. FDA has put regulations in place to help prevent contamination of eggs on the farm and during shipping and storage. But consumers play a key role in preventing illness associated with eggs. In fact, the most effective way to prevent egg-related illness is by knowing how to buy, store, handle and cook eggs — or foods that contain them — safely.
Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and vomiting 12 to 72 hours after infection. Symptoms usually last 4 to 7 days and most people get better without treatment. However, in some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated quickly with antibiotics. Certain people are at greater risk for severe illness and include pregnant women, young children, older adults and people with weakened immune systems.

FDA requires all cartons of shell eggs that have not been treated to carry the following safe handling statement: 

Safe Handling Eggs

To prevent illness from bacteria: keep eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks are firm, and cook foods containing eggs thoroughly. Eggs that have been treated to destroy Salmonella — by in-shell pasteurization, for example — are not required to carry safe handling instructions.

You can help keep eggs safe by making wise buying decisions at the grocery store.

  • Buy eggs only if sold from a refrigerator or refrigerated case.
  • Open the carton and make sure that the eggs are clean and the shells are not cracked.
  • Refrigerate promptly.
  • Store eggs in their original carton and use them within 3 weeks for best quality.

Before preparing any food, remember that cleanliness is key!

  • Wash hands, utensils, equipment, and work surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after they come in contact with eggs and egg-containing foods.

Thorough cooking is perhaps the most important step in making sure eggs are safe.

  • Cook eggs until both the yolk and the white are firm. Scrambled eggs should not be runny.
  • Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160°F (72°C). Use a food thermometer to be sure.
  • For recipes that call for eggs that are raw or undercooked when the dish is served — Caesar salad dressing and homemade ice cream are two examples — use either shell eggs that have been treated to destroy Salmonella, by pasteurization or another approved method, or pasteurized egg products. Treated shell eggs are available from a growing number of retailers and are clearly labeled, while pasteurized egg products are widely available.

Bacteria can multiply in temperatures from 40°F (5°C) to 140°F (60°C), so it’s very important to serve foods safely.

  • Serve cooked eggs and egg-containing foods immediately after cooking.
  • For buffet-style serving, hot egg dishes should be kept hot, and cold egg dishes kept cold.
  • Eggs and egg dishes, such as quiches or soufflés, may be refrigerated for serving later but should be thoroughly reheated to 165°F (74°C) before serving.
  • Cooked eggs, including hard-boiled eggs, and egg-containing foods, should not sit out for more than 2 hours. Within 2 hours either reheat or refrigerate.

Storing Eggs

  • Use hard-cooked eggs (in the shell or peeled) within 1 week after cooking.
  • Use frozen eggs within 1 year. Eggs should not be frozen in their shells. To freeze whole eggs, beat yolks and whites together. Egg whites can also be frozen by themselves.
  • Refrigerate leftover cooked egg dishes and use within 3 to 4 days. When refrigerating a large amount of a hot egg containing leftover, divide it into several shallow containers so it will cool quickly.

Transporting Eggs

  • Cooked eggs for a picnic should be packed in an insulated cooler with enough ice or frozen gel packs to keep them cold.
  • Don’t put the cooler in the trunk — carry it in the air-conditioned passenger compartment of the car.
  • If taking cooked eggs to work or school, pack them with a small frozen gel pack or a frozen juice box.

Taking steps to handle, prepare and store eggs is critical to preventing food poisoning.

Source: USDA

Pocket

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • How Candice Got Her Life Back

    Candice had always been fit and active. Then all of a sudden, she started gaining weight. After having two kids, she was at her all-time high and was always... Read more

    The 15 December 2018 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • FIDLAR at 102.1 The Edge – Sugar Beach Sessions

    FIDLAR 102.1 Edge Sugar Beach Sessions

    On a surprisingly warm December day, FIDLAR stopped by the 102.1 Edge studios for a Sugar Beach Session. FIDLAR is a four-piece punk rock band from Los... Read more

    The 15 December 2018 by   Phjoshua
    LIFESTYLE, SELF EXPRESSION
  • The Mortal Engines Has a Stupid Premise. That Doesn’t Mean It’s a Stupid Movie.

    Mortal Engines Stupid Premise. That Doesn’t Mean It’s Movie.

    We keep saying we want Hollywood to get better and pull back on all the reboots, revival, sequels, and general retelling of old stories. Why not try to tell... Read more

    The 15 December 2018 by   Weminoredinfilm.com
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, TV & VIDEO
  • Saturday 15th December: Annie Keene

    Saturday 15th December: Annie Keene

    Only ten days to Christmas and only nine Blogvents left and so let's crack on with our lady of the day and she will be a very familiar face to all Cameron... Read more

    The 15 December 2018 by   Kirsty Stonell Walker
    CULTURE
  • “Will I Get Angry Easily If I Skip Carbs?”

    “Will Angry Easily Skip Carbs?”

    How many carbs should I aim for per day to remain weight stable? How can I stop myself from overeating? These and other questions are answered this week by... Read more

    The 15 December 2018 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Franchise Weekend – The Nutty Professor (1996)

    Franchise Weekend Nutty Professor (1996)

    Director: Tom Shadyac Writer: David Sheffield, Barry W Blaustein, Tom Shadyac, Steve Oedekerk (Screenplay) Jerry Lewis, Bill Richmond (Original Screenplay)... Read more

    The 15 December 2018 by   Newguy
    CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • Vans RV-7

    Vans RV-7

    @ Chino Airport, CA May 2018 This RV-7 sits waiting for a pilot to hop in and take her up.  The Van’s RV-7 is a two-seat, single-engine, low-wing homebuilt... Read more

    The 15 December 2018 by   Htam
    PHOTOGRAPHY, SOCIETY