Are Eggs safe?
What about Salmonella?

The egg is one of nature's most nutritious, economical and versatile foods. With proper care and handling, it poses no greater risk than any other perishable food!

Company Press Release: Egg Nutrition Center
Egg Industry Statement Regarding Egg Safety
WASHINGTON, June 30 1999

``The chance of encountering an egg contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) is very small and the possibility of becoming ill from (SE) can be eliminated completely with proper handling and cooking,'' according to Jill Snowdon, Ph.D., director of food safety for the American Egg Board's Egg Nutrition Center. Based on calculations from the 1998 USDA Salmonella Risk Assessment Report, one egg per 20,000 is contaminated with SE (.005%). According to John Mason, D.V.M., M.P.H., the former director of the USDA Salmonella Enteritidis Control Program,

``Based on USDA's statistics, the average consumer would encounter a contaminated egg only once in 42 years. And then, that egg would have to be time and temperature abused to contribute to a health problem.'' The risk of contracting egg-related Salmonella is extremely low for healthy individuals, according to Dr. Mason. ``There is one outbreak for every one billion eggs consumed,'' he said.

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number of Salmonella Enteritidis outbreaks (two or more people) has steadily declined from a high of 77 in 1989 to 44 in 1997. Outbreaks linked to shell eggs have steadily declined to a low of 17 in 1997. Additionally, there has been a 44% decrease in the incidence of Se from eggs in the last three years, according to 1998 FoodNet system for surveillance.

The egg industry makes every effort to ensure that consumers receive the safest, highest quality product possible and is proactively involved in minimizing the risk of egg-related Salmonella through various food safety initiatives. These include quality assurance programs, educational programs and research funding.
Source: Egg Nutrition Center

Egg Safety Tips:
  1. Refrigeration is the first step in proper egg handling. Keep shell eggs, broken-out eggs or egg mixtures refrigerated before and after cooking.
  2. Do not leave eggs in any form at room temperature for more than 2 hours including preparation and serving.
  3. Promptly after serving, refrigerate leftovers in shallow containers so they will cool quickly.
  4. Cleanliness of hands, utensils and work surfaces is essential.
  5. Use only unbroken eggs. Discard broken eggs and avoid mixing the shell with the egg's contents.

Still concerned? Try using pasteurized eggs.

Storage: main - baked - dry - frozen - produce - refrigerated

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