Does your favorite holiday recipe include raw eggs as an ingredient? Raw eggs may contain Salmonella bacteria. These bacteria cause food poisoning, especially if consumed by pregnant women, young children, older adults, and those who may have a weakened immune system.
To safely adapt recipes containing raw eggs, try one of the following options:
- Add the eggs to the amount of liquid called for in the recipe, then heat the mixture until it reaches 160°F on a food thermometer.
- Use store-bought versions of the home-prepared item. Check the label to be sure items are already cooked or pasteurized.
- Purchase eggs labeled “pasteurized.” Options include the following:
— Fresh, pasteurized eggs in the shell (found in the refrigerator section)
— Liquid, pasteurized egg products (found in the refrigerator section)
— Frozen, pasteurized egg products (found in the frozen food section)
— Powdered egg whites (found in the baking section)
Source: Food Facts, FDA, January 2017
Eggs made news earlier this year because of a salmonella outbreak. Properly handling and storing eggs will reduce the risk of contaminating eggs with salmonella. Salmonella infection is often the result of eating raw or undercooked eggs or egg products, meat, or poultry. It can take from several hours to about two days to cause symptoms. Following is a list of possible signs and symptoms of salmonella infection:
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle pains
- Blood in the stool
There are many ways to make sure eggs are safe to eat. Use the following tips:
- Buy eggs only if sold from a refrigerator or refrigerated case at 45°F.
- Store eggs in their original carton on a shelf in the refrigerator (not in the door) and use them within 3 weeks for best quality.
- Wash hands, utensils, equipment, and work surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after they come in contact with eggs and egg-containing foods.
- 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 pasteurized egg products.
- Avoid taste-testing egg-containing foods before they are thoroughly cooked.
- For buffet-style serving, hot egg dishes should be kept hot, and cold egg dishes kept cold.
- 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.
- Use hard-cooked eggs (in the shell or peeled) within 1 week after cooking.
- 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.
- 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.
Source: Retrieved from “Playing It Safe With Eggs”