OTTAWA, March 25, 2013 /CNW/ - With Easter upon us, Health Canada would
like to remind Canadians of the importance of proper handling and
preparation of eggs to prevent foodborne illness.
Although Salmonella is not very common in Canadian eggs, some people are more susceptible
to it, particularly young children, the elderly, pregnant women and
people with weakened immune systems. Therefore, it is recommended that
eggs be cooked thoroughly when serving them to people in these
high-risk groups. You can reduce your risk of contracting foodborne
illness from eggs by following a few simple tips.
Shop carefully: Choose only refrigerated eggs with clean and uncracked shells. Do not
use an egg if its contents are leaking through the shell or if it is
stuck to the carton. Check the "best before" date on the package. While
all eggs sold in Canadian grocery stores are graded Canada A, those
sold elsewhere (such as at farms and farmers' markets) may be ungraded.
Ungraded eggs are not subject to the same food safety standards as
graded eggs and have a higher chance of being contaminated by harmful
bacteria such as Salmonella. Check for the maple leaf symbol on the carton or ask the vendor if
you're unsure whether the eggs have been graded.
Keep eggs cold: Eggs should be refrigerated within two hours of purchase and should be
placed in the coldest section of the refrigerator in their original
carton; eggs should not be kept in the refrigerator door. The carton
helps protect the eggs from damage and odours. Don't crack the shell of
an egg until you want to use it. Hard-cooked eggs, in shell or peeled,
and pickled eggs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Hard-cooked yolks should be used within five days. If you include eggs
in your lunch, make sure to include an icepack to keep the eggs cold.
Keep clean: Remember to wash your hands, utensils, cutting boards, and counters
carefully with soap and warm water before and after handling raw eggs.
This helps to avoid potential cross contamination and prevent the
spread of foodborne illness related to eggs.
Cook thoroughly: Eggs and egg-based foods should be cooked thoroughly to ensure they are
safe to eat. This includes the yolk, which should not be runny. Serve
egg dishes immediately after cooking. Store any leftovers in containers
and refrigerate them within two hours. Uncooked cookie dough and
batters made with raw eggs can contain Salmonella and should not be tasted or eaten until cooked thoroughly. Use
pasteurized egg products instead of raw eggs when you are preparing
uncooked homemade foods that use raw eggs, such as icing or Caesar
Easter eggs: Decorated eggs that have been left out on display are not safe to eat. If you want to eat the eggs you decorate you should hard
boil them thoroughly and then cool them (either by immersing them in
cold tap water or on the counter until they have reached room
temperature) before placing them in the fridge. Use a non-toxic
colouring dye on eggs. Be sure that eggs are kept cold before and after
dyeing. Between dyeing and cooling, they should be out of the
refrigerator for no more than two hours in total. Coloured hard-boiled
eggs can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to
It is estimated that there are approximately 11 million cases of
food-related illnesses in Canada every year. Many of these cases could
be prevented by following proper food handling and preparation
For more information on food safety tips for eggs, please visit:
Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education
Stay connected with Health Canada and receive the latest advisories and
product recalls using social media tools.
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SOURCE: Health Canada
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