Information Update - Health Canada Reminds Canadians of Egg Safety

    OTTAWA, April 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Health Canada is reminding Canadians of
the importance of proper food handling and preparation in the prevention of
foodborne illness associated with eggs.
    Eggs are occasionally contaminated with Salmonella and other bacteria
that can make you sick. It is also possible to contaminate eggs with bacteria
from other foods. Following a few simple food safety tips can help you avoid
contracting foodborne illness from eggs.
    Shop carefully: One of the best ways to ensure that the eggs you're going
to eat will be safe is to buy them carefully. Choose only refrigerated eggs
with clean and un-cracked shells. Check the best before date on the package
and pick up eggs just before you get to the check out counter. Refrigerate
eggs within two hours of purchase.
    Keep eggs cold: Eggs should be put away immediately when you get home
from the grocery store. Eggs should be placed in the coldest section of the
refrigerator, usually near the back, in their original carton. The carton
helps protect eggs from odours and damage. Don't crack the shell of an egg
until you want to use it. If a shell cracks by accident, remove the egg from
the shell, store it in a refrigerated covered container and use within four
days. Hard-boiled eggs can be stored in the fridge in a covered container for
up to one week. Egg salad sandwiches are a popular lunch food, but if you are
sending a child to school with an egg salad sandwich in a lunch bag, be sure
to include an icepack or frozen juice box to keep the sandwich cold.
    Keep clean: Handwashing, using soap and warm water before and after
handling food, is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of foodborne
illness. Remember to wash your hands carefully before and after handling raw
eggs to avoid potential cross contamination. Also carefully wash all cutting
boards, counters, knives and other utensils with soap and warm water after
preparing foods using raw eggs.
    Cook thoroughly: Eggs and egg-based foods should be cooked thoroughly to
ensure that they are safe to eat. Serve egg dishes immediately after cooking
or store in shallow covered containers and refrigerate them within two hours.
Uncooked cookie dough, batters or frostings made with raw eggs can contain
Salmonella bacteria. Always make sure your baked goods are cooked thoroughly
and never lick the spoon or eat raw cookie dough when baking using raw eggs.
    Easter eggs: Decorating hard-boiled eggs at Easter is a popular activity.
Decorated eggs that have been left out on display are not safe to eat. If you
want to eat the eggs you decorate, follow these steps. Hard cook them
thoroughly and then cool them immediately in the refrigerator. Use a non-toxic
colouring dye on eggs with un-cracked shells. Be sure that eggs are kept cold
before and after dying, which means they should be out of the refrigerator for
no more than two hours in total. Coloured eggs can be stored in a covered
container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
    It is estimated that there are between 11 million and 13 million cases of
food-related illnesses in Canada every year. Many of these illnesses could be
prevented by following proper food handling and preparation techniques.

    Egalement disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Media Inquiries: Paul Duchesne, Health Canada,
(613) 954-4807; Public Inquiries: (613) 957-2991, 1-866-225-0709

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