Are cooking programs as popular elsewhere as they are in Australia? Our local newspaper has just run an article which links a 30% spike in food poisoning cases (compared to the same time last year), with the popularity of these programs, which have shown techniques for cooking eggs that can be dangerous without specialist equipment.
Spike in food poisoning cases linked to Television Cooking - The Advertiser
My state's public health department advises the following:
* Keep an eye out for eggs that are cracked and/ or dirty because:
Egg shells that are cracked (including fine hairline cracks) can allow harmful bacteria to enter and grow inside the egg.
* Dirty eggs are a perfect environment for bacteria as the eggshell is porous. This allows the bad bugs to move from the dirt through the shell and into the egg itself. These dirty eggs may also cause cross contamination within the food preparation area.
Tips to remember:
* Contaminated eggs do not look or smell 'off'.
* Do not wash dirty 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.
* If an egg is cracked or dirty, throw it out.
Key rules to remember when handling eggs
Myths and facts about eggs
Egg safety in the home
Salmonella gastroenteritis - symptoms, treatment and prevention
Note particularly that salmonella "may be particularly severe in young children, the elderly and people with immune suppression. A small percentage of people may develop arthritis after having a Salmonella infection.