How can you make sure that eggs are safe when you’re eating out, especially with all of the egg recalls in the news?
According to the CDC, public health officials have identified 26 restaurants or “event clusters” where more than one ill person with Salmonella Enteritidis has eaten (that’s the type of Salmonella associated with the current egg recalls).
Some people, such as children, pregnant women, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or debilitating illnesses, are at higher risk for a Salmonella infection and need to be particularly careful when eating out.
Here are some practical things that you can do to keep you and your family safe:
- Always ask your server whether the food contains raw or undercooked eggs. If so, find out if the eggs are pasteurized. If not, order something else. Some foods that may contain raw or undercooked eggs include:
- Hollandaise sauce
- Caesar salad dressing
- Cold soufflés, chiffons, or mousses
- Ice cream
- Meringue-topped pies
- Certain ethnic dishes, such as Japanese sukiyaki or Korean bibimbap.
- If you order cooked eggs, make sure that they’re thoroughly cooked. Scrambled eggs should be firm, not runny. Fried, poached, boiled, or baked eggs should have firm whites and yolks.
- Avoid eating eggs at a buffet, since the eggs may be undercooked or may have been at room temperature for too long.
- If you plan to save leftovers to eat later, refrigerate egg dishes as soon as possible – always within two hours (or one hour if it’s a hot day).
If you think that you have become ill from eating recalled eggs, contact your health care provider. For more information, see Eggs and Egg Products.
With the ongoing reopening of Gulf fisheries, fishermen are going back to work and Americans can confidently and safely enjoy Gulf seafood again.
Consumers need to know that seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is safe and fishermen need to be able to sell their products with confidence. That’s why there’s a comprehensive, coordinated, and multi-agency program to ensure the safety of Gulf Coast seafood. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are working with other Federal agencies and state officials to closely monitor the situation and its potential impact on the safety of seafood.
Seafood from open waters is safe to eat. Here are the facts:
- Every seafood sample from reopened waters has passed testing.
- When waters were impacted by oil or at risk of being impacted by oil, they were closed to fisherman.
- Areas considered for reopening must be free of oil before testing even starts.
- Dispersants were not applied in areas that are opened for fishing, and tests of reopened waters do not show the presence of any dispersants.
- FDA and NOAA test samples for oil and dispersants, and every sample from reopened waters has passed those tests.
Here are more resources to get the latest information on seafood safety:
- FDA's Role In Seafood Safety
- Key Questions and Answers
- Seafood Safety and Dispersants Fact Sheet
- Reopening of Closed Waters Information by State
- NOAA’s Role in Seafood Safety
- NOAA, FDA, and Gulf Coast State Officials Affirm Commitment to Ensuring Safety of Gulf Coast Seafood
- Assessing Gulf Coast Seafood
At the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline, we receive about 70,000 calls a year from people who want to know how to prepare and store food safely. We can tell from our calls that it’s late summer, because we’re starting to get lots of questions about canning vegetables at home.
Canning is an excellent method of preserving your garden produce — if it’s done correctly and safely. If not, the vegetables you worked so hard to grow, harvest, and preserve could be deadly. If the bacterium that causes botulism survive and grow inside a sealed jar of food, they can produce a poisonous toxin. Even a taste of food containing this toxin can be fatal.
Here are some tips to ensure that your canned vegetables don’t spoil and make you or your family sick.
- Make sure you use the latest canning methods and recommendations. Scientific research is continually being conducted on food preservation. Make sure your food preservation information is always current with up-to-date, scientifically tested guidelines. For this reason, don’t use outdated publications or cookbooks, even if they were handed down to you from trusted family cooks.
- Use the right equipment for the kind of foods that you are canning. Pressure canning is the only recommended method for canning vegetables, as well as meat, poultry, and seafood. The bacterium that causes botulism is destroyed in these foods when they are processed at the correct time and pressure in pressure canners. Using boiling water canners for these foods poses a real risk of botulism poisoning.
- Follow these recommendations to ensure that home-canned vegetables are safe:
- Use a pressure canner.
- Be sure the gauge of the pressure canner is accurate.
- Use up-to-date process times and pressures for the kind of food, the size of jar, and the method of packing food in the jar.
Also, before eating home-canned vegetables, check to make sure that:
- The jar lid is firmly sealed and concave.
- No liquid is leaking from the jar.
- No liquid spurts out when you open the jar.
- No unnatural or “off” odors can be detected.
If you need in-depth, step-by-step instruction on home canning, we recommend consulting these excellent resources:
- The state and county extension service of your state university; they’re specialists in home canning.
- The National Center for Home Food Preservation is your best source on the web for current research-based canning recommendations, including the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning.
For general questions, feel free to contact us at the Hotline (1-888-674-6854 toll-free) or online at AskKaren.gov.