As evidenced recently in QLD with two salmonella outbreaks (one at the Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Centre last month and the other at the Grocer & Grind cafe on the Gold Coast last week), if not handled or cooked properly eggs, normally asimple and nutritious part of our diet, can prove to be a ticking time bomb with regard to the potential for food poisoning. This proves to be particularly true for dishes that require eggs to be uncooked or minimally cooked such as fresh mayonnaise, healthy shakes or smoothies and uncooked desserts such as mousses.
In order to minimise your risk of food poisoning from eggs, please follow these safety tips :
- Any dish that contains raw eggs that will not be cooked before serving should not be eaten by vulnerable people who are at a greater risk of food poisoning ie. children and the elderly, anyone with a compromised immune system and pregnant women
- If an egg appears to have a crack in it you are better to discard it
- If a piece of shell is dropped into the egg mixture it may have become too contaminated unless it is being cooked thoroughly
- Eggs should be cooked until the yolk has at least firmed a little or the egg has set (in scrambled eggs and omelettes
- When separating raw eggs to use in cooking use a plastic separator as using the shell may contaminate the raw egg
- Keep eggs refrigerated at 5 degrees celsius or below in the cardboard box that they were purchased in
- Raw egg meals should be prepared just before you are to consume them and refrigerate immediately at 5 degrees celsius or below to prevent the growth of bacteria
- Ensure that you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and running water before using eggs and after you have finished with them so that you do not contaminate any other food.
Source : Food Safety Information Council