In the month of April, a supplier of eggs to the East Coastrecalled whole shell eggs due to a number of cases of Salmonella illnesses that may have been linked to their product. Even though it appears Minnesota escaped this risk unscathed, now would still be a good time for an online ServSafe review of raw egg handling habits.
Raw Shell Egg Handling Procedures
Many Salmonella cases result from improper cooking or handling procedures. Most outbreaks can be avoided by following a few simple steps:
- Fully cook products with raw egg ingredients
- Use liquid pasteurized eggs when possible
- Do not pool raw shell eggs
- Always wash your hands after handling raw eggs
The Minnesota Food Code states that all raw shell eggs must be cooked to a temperature of 145 degrees. This does not mean that restaurants and outlets that offer breakfast service are prohibited from serving their eggs sunny side up or over easy. If you offer eggs on your menu, customers who verbally request them undercooked can receive them if the eggs are cooked and served immediately. In order to be in full compliance with the rules to serve undercooked eggs or other animal products a clearly visible warning that consuming undercooked animal product comes with health risks needs to be included on your menu.
For dishes such as omelets, scrambled eggs or any other product that does not require a whole shell egg, pasteurized liquid eggs should be used. These liquid eggs should replace any kind of egg pooling procedure. Egg pooling occurs when multiple whole raw shell eggs are cracked and stored in the same container. Putting large numbers of cracked raw eggs in one container greatly increases the risk of the spread of Salmonella.
Whether this topic is covered in online ServSafe training or one of our instructor led courses, we inevitably hear from chefs who claim that some recipes do not work with liquid eggs. In these cases, you may wish to use whole pasteurized shell eggs or consult your local health department to discuss solutions and alternatives for your ingredients.