Hot summer temperatures can affect the bacterial quality of eggs and can lead to salmonella food poisoning. To ensure that eggs are as safe as possible to eat, some simple practices can be performed.
When buying eggs place them in the refrigerator as soon as possible after purchase. This prevents deterioration in the yolk membrane and minimises growth of micro organisms that may be present.
Store eggs separately from other foods, especially from milk and cream or other cooked foods. It is preferable to place eggs in the refrigerator inside the purchased egg box. Do not keep eggs at room temperature.
Once beaten, egg provides an ideal substance for germ growth and development. It is therefore essential to avoid cross contamination. It is advisable to beat eggs immediately prior to use.
Cooked egg dishes should be eaten as soon as possible after cooking and if not should be kept covered in the refrigerator at a temperature of not more than 5 degrees centigrade.
To stay healthy ensure hands are washed before and after touching egg shells. Cracked or dirty eggs should not be used and should be discarded. Recipes requiring cooked eggs should be avoided. Although all egg dishes should be well cooked, some people have a preference for lightly cooked eggs. Lightly cooked eggs should not be served to infants and young children, pregnant or nursing mothers, elderly persons or debilitated persons.
Catering establishments which follow good practice, should during the hot summer months, substitute raw eggs with pasteurised egg products.