Staying Safe During National Food Safety Month and Beyond
September 23, 2013

September is National Food Safety Month and there is no better way to participate than by keeping safe!

National Food Safety Month (NFSM) was created by the restaurant industry in 1994 to increase awareness about the importance of food safety education. Each year, new training activities are created for the restaurant and foodservice industry to help highlight proper safety practices and procedures, ensuring safe dining experiences for patrons.

 

Being educated on the proper handling of eggs is one important way to stay safe during National Food Safety Month and beyond. Although eggs are among the most nutritious foods you can buy, they are also perishable like raw meat, poultry, and fish. Like these other foods, shell eggs may contain Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) bacteria or other microorganisms and should always be safely handled, promptly refrigerated, and thoroughly cooked, as a result.

Follow these USDA instructions for safely handling eggs:

1.Wash hands, utensils, equipment and work areas with hot, soapy water before and after contact with eggs and egg-containing foods.

2.Keep raw eggs in their original carton at 45° F or below. Eggs should be used within five weeks of purchasing.

3.Avoid keeping eggs out of the refrigerator for more than two hours or 30 minutes to one hour when 85°F or hotter.

4.Remove only the number of eggs needed from the carton and then return the carton to the refrigerator.

5.If possible, use a thermometer that measures the internal temperature of cooked foods to ensure eggs are thoroughly cooked (160° F for mixed egg dishes).

6.Poached and fried eggs should be cooked until the white is completely firm and the yolk is thickened. Scrambled eggs should be cooked until there are no visible liquids.

7.Left over hard-cooked eggs should always remain refrigerated in their shells and used within one week.

8.Resist the urge to taste the mixture before it has been cooked when preparing foods that contain eggs, such as cookie dough or cake batter.

9.Place hot foods into shallow containers and refrigerate, allowing them to cool completely if eggs were included and the dish will not be served immediately after cooking..

Follow the @EggSafetyCenter on Twitter for egg safety tips that will keep you and your family safe! Also, be on the lookout for #FoodSafetyMonth tweets that will keep you informed during September.