Procedures for Safe Storage of Eggs and Foods Made with Eggs
A bacterium called Salmonella enteritidis (SE) can contaminate eggs. This bacterium has been found on the inside of the egg, so external washing does not decontaminate the egg. People have become ill by eating raw or lightly cooked eggs or foods containing raw or lightly cooked eggs that were contaminated with SE.
State regulations are in effect to help prevent the spread of SE by contaminated eggs. Health department inspectors will monitor compliance with these requirements during future inspections. Violations of these requirements can result in enforcement action which can include a food embargo and an administrative hearing.
There are several safe food preparation procedures to follow to reduce the risk of foodborne illness from eating contaminated shell eggs. The procedures printed in bold type are required by Part 14 of the State Sanitary Code. The remaining procedures are recommended practices.
- Purchase eggs from suppliers who deliver eggs in refrigerated trucks.
- Purchase eggs that come only in containers that identify the source of the eggs. The source may be identified as a code on the container that usually is a letter followed by three or four numbers.
- Refrigerate eggs at 45 degrees Fahrenheit or less when they are received. Keep eggs under refrigeration until used.
- Keep a maximum of two weeks supply of eggs, and rotate your stock so that the oldest ones are used first.
- Do not pool eggs (that is, do not combine two or more eggs for use in recipes) other than individual orders of eggs to be cooked immediately. Use commercially pasteurized eggs in recipes that call for quantities of liquid eggs.
- Use commercially prepared food, such as mayonnaise, ice cream or salad dressing, because they are made from pasteurized eggs or have been otherwise processed to ensure safety.
- Cook shell eggs or foods containing shell eggs to 145 degrees Fahrenheit or greater unless an individual consumer requests the preparation of a shell egg or food containing shell eggs in a style such as raw, poached or fried which must be prepared at a temperature less than 145 degrees Fahrenheit in order to comply with the request.
- Cook foods made with eggs, such as quiche, pasta dishes and stuffings, to 165 degrees Fahrenheit as a precaution to ensure that they are cooked throughout.
- Modify recipes for foods made with eggs that are served without cooking or are lightly cooked, such as Caesar salad dressing, mayonnaise, ice cream, eggnog, fortified drinks, Hollandaise or other similar sauces, french toast and scrambled eggs. Consider using commercially pasteurized eggs in recipes that use eggs or consider removing the item from your menu.
- Use a metal stem thermometer periodically to measure the temperature of food made with eggs.
- Cook eggs to ensure that the white is set and the yolk is beginning to thicken (no longer runny, but not hard).
- Wash, rinse and sanitize utensils, such as a fork and bowl, used to scramble eggs at a grill every thirty minutes.
- Disassemble, wash, rinse and sanitize blenders or similar mixing machinery that are used to mix eggs after each use.
- Serve foods made with eggs immediately after cooking or cool them rapidly for later serving.
- Refrigerate leftovers immediately after serving.
- Divide large amounts of leftovers into several shallow containers, with food depths less than four inches, so the food will cool quickly under refrigeration. You may leave the food uncovered until it has reached 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you have any questions regarding information, contact your local health department.