However, for some people, including young children and the frail elderly, it can be life threatening or can leave sufferers with serious health problems. Food that is not properly handled, including eggs, can make people ill.
Avoid cracked & dirty eggs
Most shell eggs in Australia are clean and free from bacteria, but sometimes harmful bugs can be found on the egg –
If the outside of the shell is dirty, or with chicken poo or feathers stuck
If the shell is cracked: some cracks are obvious, but even hairline cracks where the shell looks intact can be a problem
If an egg is cracked or dirty, throw it away.
Raw eggs, a higher risk
Cooking kills most harmful bugs that may be present, such as Salmonella. Uncooked food that contains raw egg (e.g. hollandaise sauce, raw egg milkshakes), is a higher risk than cooked eggs. They have been linked to food poisoning when they were not handled, stored and cooked properly.
Don’t wash eggs!
Egg shells become more porous when wet, making it easier for any bacteria, from dirt or feathers on the shell, to get inside the egg.
Check the date
It is important to use eggs before the recommended date of consumption on the pack.
The recommended date on the carton usually assumes you are storing eggs in the fridge. Eggs age more in a day at room temperature than in a week in the fridge.
Keeping eggs in the fridge also minimises the risk of bugs like Salmonella growing.
Eggs are a healthy, nutritious part of many Australians’ diet. Like all perishable food, they need careful handling to keep them safe.