July 15, 2024

Avoid Food Poisoning from Eggs During Holidays (and Throughout the Year)

Preparing and sharing holiday treats is one of the best parts of the holiday season. But foods containing eggs can cause illness if not prepared properly. Whether you are making eggnog or cookies, follow these food safety tips to safely prepare food and drinks that contain eggs.

Eggs FPBFirst, the facts. Raw eggs are not safe to consume. There is no split opinion on this in the world of food safety. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that 350,000 Americans are sickened every year with Salmonella poisoning from raw or undercooked eggs. In fact it’s so common to get Salmonella from eggs, the combination of food and germ was ranked the No. 1 germ and food pair in 2009 and 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  There have been food poisoning outbreaks linked to eggs and and products that contain eggs such as cookie dough, pie, ice cream, Hollandaise Sauce and sandwiches. And in some cases foods that don’t contain eggs have been cross contaminated by a making contact with a spilled egg.

Because small children, pregnant women, seniors and those with compromised immune systems are at elevated risk for food poisoning. It’s important that they not eat cookie dough or other foods or drinks that contain raw or undercooked eggs.

If you make eggnog for the holidays, there is one very important thing you will need: a food thermometer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends you heat the eggs and half of the milk to a temperature of 160˚F when making eggnog, then chill the mixture before adding other ingredients.

Pies with meringue topping should be baked at 350°F for about 15 minutes. Casseroles containing eggs need to be cooked to an internal temperature of 160˚F.


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