Cracking Down on Eggs
Use common sense
Cook Them Well or Use Pasteurized Eggs continued...
And don't forget about dishes containing eggs, like stuffing
and meatloaf. They also need to be cooked thoroughly, says Davidson. She
suggests buying a cooking thermometer. Check all dishes containing eggs to make
sure the temperature is 160 degrees or higher in the center when finished
Pasteurized eggs are available in test markets around the
country for those who want to make, for example, a protein shake containing an
uncooked egg or sunny-side-up eggs with a runny yolk. These eggs have been
heated to 145 degrees Fahrenheit for three and a half minutes. Egg products in
containers, such as Egg Beaters (essentially egg whites that have been
colored), are also pasteurized.
"Pasteurized eggs are available in some areas, but not
everywhere," says Davidson. "If you can't find pasteurized eggs, many
chefs and cookbooks have done an excellent job of converting raw recipes --
like eggnog -- to cooked ones."
If a recipe calls for a room-temperature egg, half an hour on
the counter should do the trick, says Berry. Don't leave eggs out longer than
that. Also, casseroles and recipes that contain eggs should be kept
refrigerated after preparation if you aren't cooking them right away. Even
then, don't store them in the fridge for longer than two hours before cooking,
In short, with the proper precautions, eggs aren't so bad after
all. "Like any product that you eat," Davidson says, "you can avoid
illness by knowing how to buy, store, handle, and cook eggs safely."
Michele Bloomquist is a contributing editor for
WebMD. She lives in Portland, Ore.