Egg safety advice To avoid food poisoning from eggs at home follow these safety tips: • Never buy or use cracked, damaged or dirty eggs. Egg safety advice • Always store eggs in the fridge in their own cartons. • When storing, handling and preparing eggs, take the same precautions as you would with chicken, meat, seafood or dairy products: - Always buy and use eggs before the best–before date. - Thoroughly clean your hands, food areas, work surfaces, dishes, utensils and cleaning cloths after working with eggs and especially after egg spills. - Serve hot dishes containing eggs straight away, or cool them quickly in the fridge, and keep them refrigerated until they are eaten. • Cook eggs and foods containing eggs until they are hot all the way through. • at home Further information on egg safety can be found at: www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au www.dpi.vic.gov.au www.vff.org.au Uncooked foods that contain raw eggs (e.g. homemade mayonnaise) are higher risk. Consider alternative recipes that do not require raw eggs, especially when serving to young children, the elderly and those with poor immune systems. Remember to always treat eggs safely, as you would chicken, meat, seafood and dairy products – ensure eggs are clean, intact and fresh, then store them cool, cook them well and ENJOY! Eggs need TLC Buy Clean - Keep Cool - Cook Well Authorised by the State Government of Victoria, 50 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. October 2008. IMMUN0003. How to buy, store and prepare eggs safely Enjoying your eggs Store eggs in the fridge in their own cartons Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse providing 13 vitamins and minerals, high quality protein and important antioxidants. Along with their nutritional value, eggs are tasty, convenient and good value for money making them an excellent inclusion in a well balanced diet. However, as with chicken, meat, seafood and dairy products there can be health risks if eggs are not handled, stored and prepared safely. • The best-before date on the carton assumes you are storing your eggs in the fridge. You will need to use eggs that aren't stored in the fridge much sooner. Some eggs may be contaminated with bacteria which can cause serious food poisoning (diarrhoea and vomiting). By following these tips you will significantly reduce the chances of you or your family becoming ill from bacteria in or on eggs. Avoid cracked or dirty eggs Bacteria from dirt or chicken poo on the outside of the shell can enter the egg through cracks that are sometimes too fine to see. Once inside the egg, bacteria can grow rapidly, increasing the risk of illness. • Open the carton and check the eggs look clean and are not cracked before purchasing. • Don’t buy ‘self-serve’ eggs (where you select individual eggs from a bulk display) – you won’t know where the eggs are from, how they have been stored and handled or their best-before date. • Consider that larger eggs have thinner shells and are more likely to crack and let in bacteria. • If you find a dirty or cracked egg throw it out. • Don’t wash eggs as the shell becomes more porous when wet, making it easier for bacteria to get in. • Egg shells are porous and can become tainted by strong smelling foods in your fridge. Keeping them in the carton makes this less likely to happen. • Usually the best-before date is on the carton – if you take the eggs out of the carton you won’t know when the date has passed. Take the same precautions with eggs as you would with chicken, meat, seafood or dairy products • Buy and use eggs before the best-before date. • Thoroughly clean your hands, food areas, work surfaces, dishes, cleaning cloths and utensils after working with eggs and especially after egg spills. • Serve hot dishes containing eggs straight away, or cool them quickly in the fridge, and keep them refrigerated until they are eaten. Cook eggs and foods containing eggs until they are hot all the way through • Cooking eggs thoroughly kills bacteria, however, bacteria can survive if food is not cooked until it’s hot all the way through. • The more thoroughly cooked the egg, the less likely bacteria can survive. • Foods containing eggs that are thoroughly cooked, like cakes, firm quiches and biscuits are generally safe. Uncooked food that contains raw eggs is a higher risk Common examples of homemade foods containing raw eggs that are often linked to food poisoning include: • homemade mayonnaise and dressings • béarnaise and hollandaise sauces • milkshakes with a raw egg(s) • homemade ice cream • egg butter, mousses and tiramisu • uncooked pancake batter, cake mix, pastry or biscuit dough. Commercially available versions of these foods (that you buy off the shelf) will almost certainly have been produced using pasteurised egg or will have been heat treated and are therefore safe. To check, read the label or get in touch with the manufacturer. Consider alternatives, especially for those at greater risk of getting sick • Consider alternative recipes for uncooked foods that would usually contain raw eggs, especially when serving to young children, the elderly and those with poor immune systems. • Food related illnesses can affect anyone, but it is more common in children under five and young adults. The symptoms are often worse in pregnant women, the elderly and people with impaired immune systems. • Consider using pasteurised egg products instead of shell eggs – ask about pasteurised egg at your supermarket.
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