Eggcellent tips for Food Safety Week

Published: 12 Nov 2019

Eggs are the focus of this year’s Australian Food Safety Week campaign.

Eggs are a simple, cost effective and nutritious part of our diet but egg shells can be contaminated by Salmonella when they are laid.

Cr Fran Mann said residents were encouraged to take extra caution when preparing uncooked dishes, sauces and dressings containing raw or lightly cooked eggs.

“Uncooked desserts like mousses and tiramisu, sauces and dressings such as hollandaise, fresh mayonnaise and aioli and drinks containing raw egg such as eggnog present higher risks of food poisoning,” she said.

“These foods are risky because they contain uncooked eggs and need to be handled safely.

“Residents should avoid serving raw egg dishes to vulnerable people such as small children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems who are at greater risk from food poisoning.”

Cr Mann also reminded residents to look for the stars when choosing where to eat when dining out.

“Our Eat Safe Mackay campaign has been in effect since October last year,” she said.

“As part of the program, food businesses in the Mackay region are issued with a star rating based on their food safety audits,” she said.

“Businesses that demonstrate high levels of food safety standards are rated three, four or five stars and are a great choice.”

For more information on Eat Safe Mackay visit Eatsafe.

Follow these tips to minimise your risk of food poisoning from eating eggs:

  • Do not buy cracked or dirty eggs. These are more likely to be contaminated with Salmonella.
  • It’s always important to follow good hygiene when handling eggs, even when they look clean, so you don’t transfer “poo” contamination from the egg shell surface to the egg contents or other foods you are handling that are not going to be cooked.
  • If you accidentally drop pieces of shell into your egg mixture while preparing food, it could contaminate the mixture and it will need thorough cooking.
  • Wash your hands with soap and running water and dry thoroughly after handling eggs so you don’t contaminate other food.
  • If you are not going to cook the eggs further, don’t separate the yolk from the white using the shell as that could contaminate either part of the raw egg. Invest in an egg separator.
  • Prepare raw egg foods just before you are going to consume them and if you need to store the dish, refrigerate it immediately at 5°C or below, so the bacteria cannot grow.
  • Keep your eggs refrigerated and store them away from ready-to-eat foods. They will keep better if you store them in the cardboard box you purchased them in and you will be able to check the “best before” date and have access to the information you need in the rare case there is a food recall.