A bacterium called Salmonella enteriditis (SE) is present in eggs sometimes, and when preparations //made from these eggs( without being properly cooked) are eaten, may cause illness. The FDA (The U. S. Food and Drug Administration) warns consumers to be aware of this bacteria and follow food safety practices to avoid egg-related illness.
Some holiday favorites, such as cookie dough, homemade eggnog, and some types of stuffing, contain eggs that are raw or undercooked.
A national survey of food safety practices conducted by FDA, the 2006 FDA/FSIS Food Safety Survey, finds that cookie dough is one of the common sources of raw egg in the American diet and only 3 % of consumers use a food thermometer when they cook baked egg dishes, like stuffing.
The FDA advocates the following practices to avoid egg-related illness –
Avoid eating unbaked cookie dough.
Baked egg- dishes should be cooked to160 degrees F.
Use eggs that have been treated to destroy Salmonella for making recipes that require raw or undercooked eggs, like eggnog.
About 118,000 cases per year are reported caused by consumption of eggs contaminated with SE.
FDA insists that the following statement be pasted on packages of fresh eggs that have not been treated to destroy Salmonella:-
Safe Handling Instructions: To prevent illness from bacteria, keep eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks are firm, and cook foods containing eggs thoroughly.
Following the above instructions is very important for everyone, more so for those most susceptible to food borne illness, like young children; the elderly; persons with weakened immune systems (like those affected by AIDS, cancer or diabetes) or persons undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy for cancer; persons with weakened immune systems due to steroid use; and persons recouping from organ transplantation.
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