FOOD SAFETY FOR SHELL EGGS
Virginia has not yet identified cases related to the national egg recall, but as part of standard food safety precautions, consumers should always cook eggs thoroughly.
1. Keep eggs refrigerated at less than 45° F (less than 7° C) at all times.
2. Discard cracked or dirty eggs.
3. Wash hands, cooking utensils, and food preparation surfaces with soap and water after contact with raw eggs.
4. Cook eggs until both the white and the yolk are firm.
5. Eat eggs promptly after cooking.
6. Do not keep eggs warm or at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
7. Refrigerate unused or leftover egg-containing foods promptly.
8. Avoid eating raw eggs.
9. Avoid restaurant dishes made with raw or undercooked, unpasteurized eggs. Restaurants should use pasteurized eggs in any recipe (such as Hollandaise sauce or Caesar salad dressing) that calls for raw eggs.
10. Avoid consumption of raw or undercooked, especially by young children, elderly persons, and persons with weakened immune systems or debilitating illness.
Thorough cooking is an important step in making sure eggs are safe.
Scrambled eggs: Cook until firm, not runny.
Fried, poached, boiled, or baked: Cook until both the white and the yolk are firm.
Egg mixtures, such as casseroles: Cook until the center of the mixture reaches 160 °F when measured with a food thermometer.
Egg Recipes: Playing It Safe
Homemade ice cream and eggnog are safe if you do one of the following:
- Use a cooked egg-milk mixture. Heat it gently and use a food thermometer to ensure that it reaches 160 °F.
- Use pasteurized eggs or egg products.
Dry meringue shells, divinity candy, and 7-minute frosting are safe — these are made by combining hot sugar syrup with beaten egg whites. However, avoid icing recipes using uncooked eggs or egg whites.
Meringue-topped pies should be safe if baked at 350 °F for about 15 minutes. But avoid chiffon pies and fruit whips made with raw, beaten egg whites — instead, substitute pasteurized dried egg whites, whipped cream, or a whipped topping.
Adapting Recipes: If your recipe calls for uncooked eggs, make it safe by doing one of the following:
- Heating the eggs in one of the recipe’s other liquid ingredients over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 160 °F. Then, combine it with the other ingredients and complete the recipe.
- Or use pasteurized eggs or egg products.
Using pasteurized eggs or egg products.
Note: Egg products, such as liquid or frozen egg substitute, are pasteurized, so it’s safe to use them in recipes that will be not be cooked. However, it’s best to use egg products in a recipe that will be cooked, especially if you are serving pregnant women, babies, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.