Unless you’ve been living in the dark ages, you’ve
likely heard of salmonella poisoning or salmonellosis. You
probably know that it is a very serious illness and is linked
to raw eggs and uncooked meat but if you’re a true egg
lover then you should learn more about salmonella and how
to protect yourself and your family.
First and foremost, let’s get the facts straight. If
an egg has been improperly handled and contains salmonella
bacteria, then you may get salmonellosis, a rare food borne
illness, which causes abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea,
vomiting, chills, fever and/or headache within 6 to 72 hours
after eating the infected item. Although these symptoms sound
awful, they typically only last a day or two in healthy people
and don’t cause serious complications. However, if you’re
a young child, pregnant woman, senior citizen or a person
with an immune system disorder it can cause other complications.
So, what is an egg lover to do? In the past, people wrongly
believed that they could safely fry their eggs and enjoy delicacies
like sunny side up egg specials and avoid salmonella. However,
researchers now believe that frying doesn’t exactly
kill the salmonella bacteria. Instead, to kill it, eggs and
other products have to be cooked to an internal temperature
of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit which allows the egg white
and yolk to cook thoroughly.
In addition, there are several other things that you can
do to further protect yourself and your family members:
1. Throw cracked eggs out. If you notice
that an egg has cracked in the carton, throw the entire carton
away. Don’t take any chances as salmonella can quickly
infect the entire carton. I try to check the carton before
I but it in the store.
2. Evaluate egg shells. You should always
feel the shell and ensure that it is clean and feels normal.
Bacteria have a tendency to accumulate on shells and can make
an egg feel or appear slimy.
3. If you’re really concerned, use pasteurized
eggs in your food dishes as these are less risky
than their shell counterparts to contain salmonella.
4. Clean areas thoroughly with hot water
and antibacterial soap to lessen risk of infection.
In conclusion, salmonellosis can be a very serious illness
but with proper cooking, prevention and cleanliness, you can
avoid this food borne illness and enjoy the benefits of eating