Egg Safety & You

Most consumers think eggs are safe. This makes sense because eggs can be purchased at the supermarket and will be cold. They also look normal unless of course one is cracked. However, are they safe? Eggs are classified as a hazardous food and keeping them out of the Danger Zone within the 2 hour limit is very important. Yet, during a restaurant food show, I noticed a well known restaurant serving samples of caesar salad from a large salad bowl. It was unrefrigerated and left out over the four hours that I attended the show! How many visitors may have gotten sick from this? Either the salad should have been served individually in small cups or the smaller amounts of salad should have been displayed on ice. When the bowl was empty, a new bowl with salad could have been used. Perhaps lack of knowledge or lack of training was the reason why the caesar's salad was displayed improperly at such a prestigious food show. Another example happened when I was inspecting a nursing home and was asked to provide a short talk on Salmonella. The supervisor had noticed staff were mishandling eggs. She thought that a talk from the local health inspector would make an impact rather than her reminding them all the time. The talk did work as subsequent inspections showed improvement in safe handling of eggs in recipes. I’ve always wondered whether receiving their pay cheques right after the presentation had anything to do with retaining the knowledge!

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ENVIRO-FOOD CONSULTING is a foodservice consulting business run by Sally de la Rue Browne, Certified Public Health Inspector and Food Safety Specialist.

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