Are You Consuming Contaminated Eggs? Here's How to Avoid Contamination

If possible, know the source of the eggs that you buy. It is ideal to go for organic eggs.

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Are You Consuming Contaminated Eggs? Here's How to Avoid Contamination

Highlights

  1. Salmonella is one of the most common causes of food poisoning
  2. Eggs are also one of the most common carriers of Salmonella
  3. Egg shells can be highly contaminated
Food contamination is one of the severe threats to food safety across the world. Pathogens like E. Coli and Salmonella easily find their way to the food chain through poultry, dairy and even via drinking water. Salmonella is one of the leading causes of food poisoning. It commonly occurs in warm-blooded animals, therefore cattle rearing and poultry farms are often breeding grounds of the pathogen. Salmonella can easily be transferred to cow's milk from infected udders. Eggs are also one of the most common carriers of Salmonella. Baby chicks and ducklings may carry the bacteria as well; the pathogen may also be found in animal feces.

According to a recent report, some Indian poultry and rearing farms may carry out practices that are not deemed fit as per International standards. Lack of proper hygiene and faulty rearing practices may induce bacterial growth that may get transferred to the item of consumption as well. Contamination can also take place at handling, processing stages and even during transit. Experts believe that contamination through eggs often go unchecked as people mostly don't see eggs as an item that may be contaminated. However, some of the common practices that people undertake during cooking eggs may as well be the only reason for transferring the contaminants to the cooked item.

poached eggs

Image via iStock

Unlike other food items, like chicken, meats, fruits and vegetables, eggs are brought straight from the market and stored directly in the refrigerator. Experts note that egg shells can be highly contaminated and once stored in the fridge, it may even get in touch with other edible items and spread the contamination. Following points should therefore be kept in mind to avoid getting any food contamination with respect to eggs -

1. If possible, know the source of the eggs that you buy. It is ideal to go for organic eggs.

2. Wash eggs before storing in the fridge and consume within a couple of weeks.

3. Do not store eggs openly in the refrigerator; keep them wrapped in a paper bag.

4. Eggs must be stored at 35-40 degree Fahrenheit.

5. In case you take out eggs from the refrigerator, ensure consuming them within a couple of hours.

6. Wash your hands with soap after you are done breaking an egg for cooking. Do not consume raw eggs.

7. Half fried eggs (or any dish where the yolk is not cooked entirely) will risk contamination. Cook eggs properly and completely to avoid food contamination.


Symptoms of Food Contamination

Rush to your nearest doctor in case you experience any of the symptoms mentioned below.

- Diarrhea

- Fever

- Stomach ache and cramps

- Dehydration

- Nausea

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