Holiday egg safety tips
Follow these food safety tips to help keep eggs safe for eating and to protect your family from foodborne illnesses.
Here are some food safety tips to help keep eggs safe for eating and to protect your family from foodborne illnesses:
- Keep eggs refrigerated within two hours of cooking or decorating. According to U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) eggs are required to be refrigerated at 45 degrees Fahrenheit or lower as soon as possible. If a cold egg is left out at room temperature it can sweat and facilitate the growth of bacteria.
- Keep everything clean. Wash utensils, countertops and other surfaces that eggs come in contact with. That includes washing your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water before and after handling raw eggs or cooked eggs that will be eaten.
- Cook eggs until both the yolk and white are firm to kill salmonella bacteria. Salmonella can easily spread from one food to another. The majority of reported salmonellosis outbreaks involving eggs or egg-containing foods have resulted from inadequate refrigeration, improper handling and/or insufficient cooking. Use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of cooked egg casseroles or egg-containing dishes to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Who is "at risk" when eating raw or undercooked eggs?
Infants, young children, older adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to Salmonella Enteritidis infections. A chronic illness weakens the immune system, making the person vulnerable to foodborne illness. No one should eat foods containing raw eggs. This includes "health food" milk shakes made with raw eggs, Caesar salad, Hollandaise sauce, and any other foods like homemade mayonnaise, ice cream, or eggnog made from recipes in which the egg ingredients are not thoroughly cooked. However, in-shell pasteurized eggs may be used safely without cooking.
- When coloring eggs use food grade dye and refrigerate within two hours. Read the label of the package to ensure food safe ingredients are contained or use natural food dyes like beet juice.
Following these tips can help to keep you and your family safe from salmonellosis and other foodborne illnesses so that you can enjoy your holiday.