Eggnog: Toast the season in style
To avoid illness, handle eggnog carefully this holiday season.
Will you be toasting the holiday season with eggnog? Now is the time to be checking the recipe to make sure that it is safe to use. The holidays are not the time to be serving up foodborne illness.
Traditionally, the egg beverage has been made with raw shell eggs. It is possible for clean, crack-free shell eggs to be contaminated with salmonella bacteria. salmonella has had a long history of being associated with eggs, and egg products. For this reason Michigan State University Extension recommends using a pasteurized egg product or cooking the egg beverage to 160 degrees Fahrenheit to kill the salmonella bacteria.
Traditional eggnog is a mixture of eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla. To make it safe and kill the bacteria, slowly bring the mixture of eggs, milk and sugar up to a simmer over low heat. By stirring the mixture frequently, the mixture will not burn. When the temperature of 160 F is reached, the mixture will start to thicken creating a coating on the spoon. Cool the mixture immediately, to prevent it from becoming custard. Refrigerate the mixture until it is ready to be used. To cool a large batch of eggnog, divide the mixture into several smaller shallow containers and refrigerate.
An alternative to the cooked egg mixture is to purchase pasteurized egg products from the grocery store. Pasteurized egg products can be found next to the eggs in the refrigerator section of the grocery store. Or to save time and energy by purchasing the pasteurized eggnog from the refrigerator section in the grocery store.
It is a myth that the alcohol content of eggnog will kill the foodborne illness bacteria. When the alcohol is mixed with the other ingredients, it becomes too diluted to have any effect on the bacteria.
So in preparation for the holiday season check the eggnog recipe to make sure you will be serving up holiday cheer and not foodborne illness.