Egg guidance from 96th Medical, CDC

  • Published
  • By 96th Aerospace Medicine Squadron
  • 96th Medical Group
Recently, eggs from an Iowa producer linked to an outbreak of Salmonellosis had sparked a nationwide egg recall.

To protect against this food borne illness the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following: Don't eat recalled eggs or products containing recalled eggs. Keep eggs refrigerated at all times. Discard cracked or dirty eggs. Wash hands, cooking utensils and food preparation surfaces with soap and water after contact with raw eggs. Eggs should be cooked until both the white and the yolk are firm and eaten promptly after cooking.

Over the last decade, foodborne illness outbreaks have been linked to many different food items to include fruits, vegetables, meats and eggs.

Food borne disease is caused by consuming food or beverages contaminated by microorganisms such as Salmonella. An estimated 76 million cases of foodborne disease occur each year in the United States.

The reactions to a majority of these cases are mild and cause symptoms for only a day or two. Typical signs of foodborne illness include: nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. In serious cases, high fever, bloody stool, and prolonged vomiting may occur. The CDC estimates that there are 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths related to foodborne diseases each year.

The most severe cases tend to occur in the very old and the very young, those who already have an illness that reduces their immune system function, and in healthy people who have consumed highly contaminated food or beverages.

Following the CDC recommendations and a few additional easy food safety techniques can help your special celebration remain safe and illness-free.

Proper hand-washing: Wash hands well and often with soap and water, especially after using the bathroom and before cooking or eating. Typically the last thing that touches your food before you consume it is your hands, so proper hand-washing is paramount.

Keep everything clean: To prevent foodborne illness, don't use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry. When taking food off the grill, use a clean platter. Harmful bacteria present in raw meat can contaminate safely cooked food. Be sure to wash and sanitize food contact surfaces before and after use.

Serving/storing food: The Food and Drug Administration suggests never leaving food out for more than one hour in hot weather (above 90° F) and no more than two hours on any other occasion. To keep food safe, use the rule "Keep hot food hot (over 135º F) and cold food cold (under 41º F)." When storing food items, keep raw food separate from cooked food and thaw/marinate food in the refrigerator instead of on the counter top.

Cook thoroughly: It is necessary to cook food to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria. Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often browns very quickly on the outside. Use a food thermometer to be sure the food has reached a safe internal temperature. Beef, pork and individual eggs (broken/cooked for immediate consumption) must be cooked to an internal temperature of 145° F. All ground beef/pork products must reach an internal temperature of 155° F. All poultry and any meat item stuffed before cooking must reach an internal temperature of 165° F.

For additional food safety techniques or questions on avoiding foodborne illness, call Public Health at 883-8608 or visit