Eggs linked to increase in food poisoning

Most of us eat eggs in a regular basis. It is an economical source of vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, just like any other food it can be contaminated with Salmonella. Chickens can carry the bacteria that could contaminate the inside of the eggs before the eggs are fully formed. Egg shells can also be contaminated by droppings. Eggs must be handled and prepared safely to minimise the risk of foodborne illness.

At least 713 of salmonella cases were recorded between January and April 2017 which is more than four times the usual number for the same period previously. Few of these cases were in Busselton where food including chocolate mousse, aioli and hollandaise sauce were linked to products containing raw eggs.

Tips to prevent food poisoning

  • Prepare egg dishes as close to the time of consuming and refrigerate at or below 5 degrees Celsius
  • Wash hands and items that touched raw eggs including dishes, counter top and cutting boards with soap and water
  • Avoid eating raw or partially cooked eggs
  • If eating eggs that contain raw/ lightly cooked eggs such as tiramisu or hollandaise sauce, use eggs that are pasteurized only
  • Do not use cracked or dirty eggs
  • Buy eggs from stores and suppliers that keep them refrigerated
  • Cook eggs until both yolk and white are firm.

Illness from Salmonella can be serious and is more dangerous for certain people. People who may get serious illness that could be even be life threatening includes older adults, infants, people with weakened immune systems such as those with HIV/AIDS or organ transplant.

Infection of Salmonella can result to symptoms of diarrhoea, fever and abdominal cramps and could last for 4- 7 days without treatment. Some sick people may need to be hospitalised. See a doctor if you have a fever, diarrhoea, bloody stools, vomiting and signs of dehydration (dry mouth, throat, dizziness when standing up).

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