Watch Out for Salmonella Bacteria in Eggs
Besides being a healthy food, eggs are very prone to Salmonella bacteria infection. But unfortunately, to find out if an egg is healthy or infected with the bacteria is quite difficult. So what can be done is only to prevent them.
Eggs may contain harmful food bacteria called Salmonella enteritidis (S. enteritidis). These bacteria usually enters the egg through several ways, one of which is the contamination of egg shell with dirt.
Or because the chicken already have salmonella bacteria in their intestine. In humans this bacteria is found in the intestines and feces, especially for people who are already infected.
Can the public distinguish between healthy eggs with eggs that have been infected with Salmonella bacteria?
“There is nothing the community can do to find out if an egg has been contaminated or not. Because Salmonella can infect any type of chicken and there is no scientific evidence that could indicate a bacteria-free eggs,” said Professor Rob Gravani, a professor of food science from Cornell University, according to LiveScience.
Salmonella infected eggs cases should be proven through laboratory testing and can not be seen with naked eyes.
Thus, according to Prof. Gravani, if there is already an announcement that the eggs are infected, it is best for the public not to consume them. Because the exterior and interior of infected eggs would appear normal. Another way is to consider how to cook and store it right so the bacteria can die.
Outbreaks of Salmonella-infected eggs on a large scale has recently happened in Atlanta, U.S.. Local governments withdrawn approximately 380 million eggs from the market due to Salmonella outbreak.
The FDA is currently investigating to determine the cause of this outbreak of Salmonella in eggs. Investigations carried out in several places which serves foods with raw eggs, medium cooked eggs and eggs that are not pasteurized.
Although it is not possible to distinguish between healthy and infected eggs, according to CDC.gov there are some specific actions that can be done to reduce the risk of Salmonella infection.
The trick to reduce the risk are:
1. Do not eat eggs that have already cracked or dirty.
2. Wash hands, utensils with soap and water after contact with raw eggs.
3. Eggs should be cooked until the white and yellow are well done (the temperature reaches 159.8 degrees Ferenheit) and consume immediately.
4. Do not keep eggs at a warm room or temperature for more than two hours.
5. Store eggs in refrigerators if you do not want to use them.
6. Avoid eating raw eggs.
7. Try not to eat food in restaurants which are made with raw eggs, undercooked or not pasteurized.
8. Always store eggs at a temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
If someone is poisoned from Salmonella, they usually will have symptoms of fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea about 12-72 hours after eating food containing the bacteria. This illness usually lasts 4-7 days.
Someone who has a weak immune system, elders and infants are the groups most susceptible to illness due to Salmonella infection. In this group, infection can spread from intestines to the bloodstream and other body parts.