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Improved Egg Safety

Improved Egg Safety

 

          Concerns with food safety and food contamination have been in the news a great deal in recent months.  Now the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a regulation to help make one standard favorite - eggs- safer to eat.

          The regulation, just released to the public on July 7, 2009, requires the egg industry to take specific preventive measures to keep eggs safe during their production, storage and transport. Egg producers will also be required to register with FDA and to maintain a prevention plan and records to show they are following the regulation.

          It is hoped that the new regulations will reduce the number of illnesses caused by eggs contaminated with the bacterium Salmonella Enteritidis (SE).  The FDA took this action because SE is a major cause of foodborne illness in the United States. Eating raw or undercooked eggs is a major source of SE infections in people. FDA estimates that 142,000 illnesses each year are caused by consuming eggs contaminated with SE.

          Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) infections can be very serious, even life-threatening, especially to the very young, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. Infected people may experience diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, headache, nausea and/or vomiting.  Some infected people may suffer from severe illness, arthritis, or even death.

          Eggs can become contaminated on the farm because a laying hen can become infected with SE and pass the bacteria into the egg before it is laid. If the egg is not refrigerated, the bacteria can grow inside the uncracked, whole egg.

          In addition to the new safety measures being taken by industry, consumers can reduce their risk of foodborne illness by following a few simple steps:

 - Only buy eggs if they are sold from a refrigerator or refrigerated case.

 - Open the carton and make sure that the eggs are clean and the shells are not cracked.

- Refrigerate the eggs promptly after purchase.

- - Wash hands, utensils, equipment, and work surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after they come in contact with eggs and egg-containing foods

          - Cook eggs until both the yolk and the white are firm. Scrambled eggs should not be runny.

Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160°F (72°C). Use a food thermometer to be sure

Serve cooked eggs and egg-containing foods immediately after cooking. Cooked eggs, including hard-boiled eggs, and egg-containing foods should not sit out for more than 2 hours. Within 2 hours either reheat or refrigerate.

          The following version of a traditional French quiche includes a popular garden vegetable – zucchini- and is ready in a hurry as the crust is included with other ingredients instead of being rolled separately.  

          Zucchini Quiche

1 cup biscuit baking mix

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese 

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon seasoning salt

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 eggs, beaten 

1/2 cup grated onion

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 zucchini, sliced into rounds

          Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9x9-inch casserole dish.  In a large bowl combine biscuit mix, Parmesan cheese, oregano, seasoning salt, parsley, garlic powder and salt. Stir in eggs, onion and oil. Mix well and add zucchini. Pour into prepared casserole dish.

          Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

Servings per Recipe: 6, Per serving – 276 calories, 20,2 g fat, 146 mg cholesterol, 8.5 g protein.

 

 

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