Councilman Mike Elam's Blog

Apr 10

[ARCHIVED] Egg Safety for Spring Celebrations

The original item was published from April 10, 2017 1:16 PM to April 10, 2017 1:17 PM


Eggs and egg products play a big role in spring meals and celebrations. Although a wonderful source of protein and other beneficial nutrients, it is important to handle raw and cooked egg products safely to avoid illnesses.

Egg Nutrition Facts

70 calories
6 grams protein
250 milligrams choline
5 grams fat
185 milligrams cholesterol
70 milligrams sodium
0 carbs
While eggs are an extremely beneficial part of a healthy diet, consumption and handling of eggs can be a concern because of the potential association with Salmonella and other bacteria (including E-Coli, Shigella and Campylobacter). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that approximately 142,000 cases of foodborne illness are caused each year by consuming egg products contaminated by these bacteria. Common symptoms of those infected include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps and vomiting within 12-72 hours of exposure. These symptoms can last four to seven days.

Preventing Salmonella and contamination in decorated eggs

Bacteria and other contaminants can be found inside and outside the shell. To minimize opportunities, follow this recipe to hard-boil eggs for decoration:
Photo of colored eggs and stuffed chicks for Easter
  1. Wash hands with soap and water before touching the packaging and the eggs.
  2. Check to make sure that shells have not cracked..
  3. Put raw eggs in a saucepan. Cover with enough water to come at least one inch above the eggs.
  4. Turn burner on a high temperature and place saucepan on stovetop.
  5. Heat water and eggs until the water begins to boil.
  6. Remove saucepan from heat. Cover pan and set aside. Keep eggs in hot water for 12-15 minutes.
  7. Drain water from saucepan. Move eggs to an ice-water bath to cool.
  8. Store in refrigerator for up to five days until dyeing (using a food-safe dye).
  9. Return dyed eggs to refrigerator for storage.

SUGGESTION – Although they may be eaten if handled properly, it is safer to treat dyed eggs as disposable decorations, not food. Discard any eggs that have been kept out of the refrigerator for more than two hours.

Preventing Salmonella and contamination in egg recipes
The FDA has developed regulations to help prevent Salmonella contamination, and families should also take steps to protect themselves.

When buying eggs, make sure that:
  • the grocer or shopkeeper stored the eggs at or below 40° Fahrenheit.
  • shells are clean and not cracked.
  • purchased products are kept in a refrigerator at or below 40° Fahrenheit.
  • products are used within three weeks of purchase.
When cooking with egg products, check that:
  • you wash hands with soap and water before touching the packaging or the eggs.
  • shells have not cracked.
  • casseroles or egg dishes reach an internal temperature of 160° Fahrenheit.
  • raw eggs are cooked until both the whites and yolk are firm, not runny.
  • only pasteurized shell eggs or egg products are used as raw ingredients in recipes like ice creams or Caesar salad dressings.
When storing egg products, ensure that:
  • products meant to be served cold remain cold (below 40° Fahrenheit).
  • cooked items do not sit out for more than two hours without reheating.
  • leftovers are stored properly in a refrigerator or freezer.
  • reheated leftovers reach an internal temperature of 165° Fahrenheit for at least 20 seconds before serving.

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