By Taylor Lynne Trentwood, Ph.d.
Massive recall due to the egg -related diseases , three things you must do now.
The misery of the food poisoning (Salmonella and other common food borne viruses) once experienced is not soon forgotten. Today we have the largest recall of eggs ever issued in America so some extra awareness about our food supply and preparation is in order. People in several states are clutching their stomachs and bending over in severe pain due to the wide spread of disease caused by the consumption of what they thought were everyday ordinary eggs. Elderly people and young children have a very difficult time with this illness and every precaution is in order in households with the very old and very young.
Here are three things to do:
Carefully wash your eggs under warm running water for thirty seconds before cracking them open. Put the container back into the refrigerator before you even begin to cook.
Two: When they become more widely available, buy only shell pasteurized eggs.
They will not bring salmonella in to your kitchen. There is a USDA approved process to pasteurize the eggs outer shell. Such eggs are available and they are marked clearly on the package as “pasteurized“. Watch for store ads beginning next week.
Three: do not either order or eat eggs that are “sunny side u up” or cooked “over easy”. Although these are very popular and served frequently in restaurants, these are actually undercooked food. Almost one third of all hotel and restaurant orders are for these two styles. Yet they can carry every danger of Salmonella Enteritis and the avian virus as well. Cooking eggs, and all other foods, thoroughly is necessary for food safety.
Although these are very simple recommendations, they are a change in behavior from our usual more confident approach to cooking with eggs. Those more casual days are over for the time being. We must assume that these precautions are strictly necessary until the USDA tells us otherwise. Remember that we are in the midst of the largest recall of all times so it is unwise to assume all is well in your own kitchen.
These three simple steps will help to assure that your food is as safe as possible.
It is wise to take these precautions now and in the future and to do so without any exception. We can no longer assume with complete assurance the safety of the entire food chain all of the time. .
In addition, remember to your breakfast “Scrambled” rather than “Sunnyside “ or “Easy Over” and you will have a reduced risk of illness. Undercooked food is a major source of outbreaks such as this one.
A food borne illness is well worth taking pains to avoid. Once you have had a severe case you will never forget it. People are not infrequently hospitalized with this disease. It is not always just a few hours of discomfort, as most people tend to assume.
Anything that we can do to stay healthy is time and effort well spent.
Intense investigations by FDA and the USDA in cooperation are underway at this very hour in order to uncover the sources of the problem. They promise that changes will be made.