April 14, 2024

Should You Eat Easter Eggs? The USDA Has Answers

Egg safety is important at all times of year, but at Easter it's really critical. Many eggs can carry Salmonella bacteria, and there have been quite a few outbreaks linked to shell eggs. Are they safe to eat? The USDA has some answers. Salmonella can not only be present on the eggshell, but inside the egg itself. If hens have bacteria in their ovaries, it will be inside the egg as it develops. Plus, the shell is porous, and bacteria can easily pass through the shell. So you need to be careful about handling them. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after handling raw eggs. After the eggs are cooked, you can dye them. Never dye uncooked eggs. Make sure that the eggs are hard boiled first. And cook the eggs well done. To safely hard cook eggs, put the raw … [Read more...]

USDA Develops Technology to Reduce Pathogens in Shell Eggs

The USDA has developed technology to reduce pathogens in shell eggs. Raw eggs and egg products can carry Salmonella bacteria and cause illness and outbreaks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the pathogen causes about 1.35 million illnesses, 26,500 hospitalizations, and 420 deaths every year in this country. Pasteurizing eggs does work, but less than 3% of commercial shell eggs are pasteurized in the United States. Conventional pasteurization is a long process. The eggs are submerged in hot water for more than 57 minutes to inactive Salmonella bacteria. Researchers at the Agricultural Research Service's Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, used a novel thermal technology that has a much shorter processing time. The technique uses … [Read more...]

Eggs Recalled in Canada For Possible Salmonella Contamination

Eggs recalled in Canada for possible Salmonella contamination include several brand names. No illnesses have been reported to the company to date in connection with the consumption of these eggs. The recalling firm is Star Egg Co. Ltd. The eggs were sold in Saskatchewan at the retail level. The recalled eggs include Compliments large eggs packaged in 12 egg containers. The UPC number for this product is 0 55742 35750 9, and the code is 2024MR14 S-21. Also recalled is Harman medium eggs packaged in a 12 egg container. The UPC number is 0 63902 00202 2 and the code is 2024MR28 S-21. Star Egg extra large eggs are included in this recall. The package holds 15 dozen eggs and there is no UPC number. The code is 2024MR07 S-21. Star Egg large eggs are also recalled. They are packaged in … [Read more...]

Thinking About Backyard Chickens Because of Egg Prices? Read This First

Are you thinking about keeping backyard chickens because of high egg prices? Read this first, because there are some food safety issues you need to know. The bucolic image of some chickens strutting around your backyard, pecking at the ground and emitting gentle clucks, laying eggs that you can gather warm and fry for your breakfast, is misleading. Taking care of a flock of chickens is a lot of work, and if you aren't careful, an infection can land you or your kids in the hospital with a serious illness, according to the CDC. Every year in recent memory, hundreds of people are sickened and dozens are hospitalized in Salmonella outbreaks after contact with backyard birds. And these numbers are at least 30 times higher than the reported case counts, because the case counts are very … [Read more...]

Safer Food Choices For Those at Risk For Food Poisoning

Every month there is at least one food recall about a potentially dangerous food in the United States. These recalls are for foods that may be contaminated with E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, cyclospora, and Campylobacter. Unfortunately, some foods are inherently risky because of the way they are grown or prepared. While the general public certainly is at risk for illness from these foods, there are some people who can become seriously ill if they are infected. There are safer food choices for anyone who is at high risk for food poisoning complications. People at higher risk for serious complications from food poisoning include the very young, the elderly, pregnant women, people with chronic health problems such as diabetes, and anyone with a compromised immune system. … [Read more...]

Holiday Reminder: Raw Dough Can Contain Dangerous Pathogens

It's time for the annual holiday reminder: raw dough can contain dangerous pathogens. While most people know that eating raw eggs is risky, fewer know that uncooked flour is also a potential hazard. The FDA has been warning consumers about the potential dangers of raw eggs for decades. Eggs can carry Salmonella bacteria not only on the shell, but inside the egg itself. Hens can carry the pathogen in their ovaries, so the eggs are then contaminated from the inside out. Always handle raw eggs as if they are contaminated. Cook them thoroughly, and avoid recipes that use raw eggs. Eggs that are pasteurized are safe to eat raw, as long as you follow expiration dates. There have been outbreaks linked to raw, or uncooked flour, in the past few years. Flour is a raw agricultural product … [Read more...]

Are Eggs Safe to Eat During the Pathogenic Avian Influenza Outbreak?

No doubt you have heard of the serious bird flu outbreak that has resulted in the deaths of thousands of birds, including chickens. So you may have wondered: are eggs safe to eat during the pathogenic Avian influenza outbreak? The FDA has some answers. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is a disease caused by a virus. It is often referred to as the bird or avian flu. The virus spreads naturally among wild aquatic birds around the world. It can and has infected domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. This virus does not normally infect humans, but one person who lives in Colorado recently tested positive for this virus. That person was involved in the culling of poultry and had direct exposure to infect birds. On February 8, 2022, HPAI was detected in a … [Read more...]

Tips for Easter Egg Hunt Safety From Fight Bac

Get tips for Easter egg hunt safety from Fight Bac. Remember that eggs are perishable foods just like meat and poultry, and should be cooked thoroughly and handled with care. Even clean, uncracked eggs can, and have been, contaminated with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes bacteria and have caused many illnesses. When you are coloring eggs for AEser, only use eggs that have been refrigerated, and discard any cracked or dry eggs. To cook eggs, place a single layer in a cause pan and add cold water to cover the eggs by one inch. Bring the water to a full rolling boil, then remove the pan from the heat and cover it. Let the eggs stand for 18 minutes for extra large, 15 minute for large, ant 12 minutes for medium. Then drain the eggs and immediately run cold water over them. You … [Read more...]

Yearly Reminder: Don’t Eat Raw Cookie Dough or Cake Batter!

The holiday baking season has begun, and it's time for the yearly reminder: don't eat raw cookie dough or cake batter! There are two specific ingredients in those recipes that can make you very sick: raw flour and raw eggs. The only way to destroy those pathogens is with heat. Pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes are destroyed when they are heated to 160°F. While it may seem counterintuitive that a dry product such as flour can contain pathogens, flour is a raw agricultural product. It can be contaminated in the field, during harvest, or transport, or during processing just like leafy greens or other produce. There have been many recalls of flour for pathogen contamination, and several serious multistate outbreaks linked to that product. E. coli … [Read more...]

Do You Know Food Safety Rules For Baking in the Kitchen?

Do you know food safety rules for baking in the kitchen? You may know to handle eggs carefully and to bake cookie doughs and cake batters before eating them, but do you know why? With a new E. coli outbreak linked to cake mix, these rules are more important than ever. Many people know that raw eggs can contain pathogenic bacteria, and think that's why food safety experts say not to eat raw cookie dough and cake batter. But eggs are not the only safety issue when baking. As improbable as it seems, flour is a raw agricultural product and not only can it be contaminated with pathogens, it has caused several multistate food poisoning outbreaks in the past few years. All-purpose, cake flour, and bread flour are made from wheat, which is grown in fields. And like all foods grown … [Read more...]

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