Posts Tagged ‘eggs’

Egg safety

Friday, April 18th, 2014

egg huntEaster egg hunts are fun for kids of all ages. With a little caution, you can make sure your family stays safe from Salmonella and other food poisoning illnesses caused by eating contaminated eggs.  If you don’t celebrate Easter, this info on egg safety will still come in handy, especially with summer picnics around the corner.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an estimated 142,000 illnesses each year are caused by consuming eggs contaminated with Salmonella. The FDA has put regulations in place to help prevent contamination of eggs on the farm and during shipping and storage. But consumers play a key role in preventing illness associated with eggs. In fact, the most effective way to prevent egg-related illness is by knowing how to buy, store, handle and cook eggs — or foods that contain them — safely.

Follow these safe handling tips to help protect yourself and your family, courtesy of the FDA:

When buying eggs

•    Buy eggs only if sold from a refrigerator or refrigerated case.
•    Open the carton and make sure that the eggs are clean and the shells are not cracked.
•    Refrigerate promptly.

Store raw eggs in their original carton and use them within 3 weeks for best quality.

Rules for eating hard boiled eggs

•    Cooked eggs, including hard-boiled eggs, and egg-containing foods, should not sit out for more than 2 hours. Within 2 hours either reheat or refrigerate.
•    Use hard-cooked eggs (in the shell or peeled) within 1 week after cooking. Cooked eggs for a picnic should be packed in an insulated cooler with enough ice or frozen gel packs to keep them cold.
•    Don’t put the cooler in the trunk — carry it in the air-conditioned passenger compartment of the car.
•    If taking cooked eggs to work or school, pack them with a small frozen gel pack or a frozen juice box.

If you enjoy making egg salad, deviled eggs or other delicious egg dishes, here are more egg safety tips, for you.

A safe egg hunt

All these “rules” got your head spinning? For a worry-free egg hunt, either hide the eggs an hour or two before the hunt and put them in the refrigerator right after the hunt, or better yet, use plastic decorative eggs if you are going to keep them out overnight or after the hunt. You can keep the decorated hard-boiled eggs in the fridge until ready to eat or adorn your table.

Millions of eggs recalled

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

eggBy now you have probably heard about the egg recall that has affected so much of the country.  The FDA reports that over 400 million eggs have been recalled and over 1300 people have become sick due to Salmonella. 

Salmonella is a bacterium that can be on both the inside and the outside of eggs.  In healthy adults, Salmonella infections generally cause diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramping and fever that lasts for several days.  Pregnant women, infants, and others with a compromised immune system can sometimes become seriously ill from these infections.  Occasionally, a pregnant woman can pass a Salmonella infection on to her fetus, who can develop diarrhea, fever and, less frequently, meningitis after birth.

The best thing you can do to prevent Salmonella and any other food-borne illnesses is to make sure you handle your food properly.  You can reduce your risk of salmonella by paying attention to a few things:

• Storage:  keep eggs refrigerated at all times.  That will prevent the Salmonella bacteria from growing.

• Hygiene:  Wash your hands, cooking utensils, and preparation surfaces with soap and water after contact with raw eggs.  Remember that Salmonella can be present on the egg’s shell, so that includes eggs that have not been cracked open yet.

• Consumption:  Avoid eating raw eggs, undercooked eggs, or unpasteurized eggs.  Make sure restaurants use pasteurized eggs in any recipes that call for raw eggs such as Hollandaise sauce or Caesar salad dressing.

Check your eggs, if you haven’t already, for the recalled product codes and make sure you discard them.  If you or your family members have any symptoms of Salmonella, make sure you contact your health care provider immediately.  And read our fact sheet on food-borne illnesses and how to keep you and your family safe—especially during pregnancy.

First solid food

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Most babies are ready to eat solid foods at 4 to 6 months of age. And for 20854955_thbmost babies it doesn’t matter what the first solid food is. Traditionally, we start with single-grain cereals such as rice or oats. However, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), there is no medical evidence that introducing solid foods in any particular order has an advantage for your baby. For example, your pediatrician might recommend starting vegetables before fruits, but there’s no evidence that your baby will develop a dislike for vegetables if fruit is given first. Babies are born with a preference for sweets, and the order of introducing foods does not change this.

Once your baby learns to eat one food, gradually give him other foods. Wait at least 2 to 3 days before starting another. After each new food, watch for any allergic reactions such as diarrhea, rash, or vomiting. If any of these occur, stop using the new food and contact your baby’s doctor.

Within a few months of starting solid foods, your baby’s daily diet should include a variety of foods that includes: breast milk and/or formula, meats, cereal, vegetables, and fruits. Talk to your pediatrician about when you should introduce eggs and fish. Some might say to avoid these foods during the first year of life because of allergic reactions. The AAP also states that there’s no evidence that introducing eggs or fish after 4 to 6 months of age determines whether your baby will be allergic to them.