The FDA Today Reminds Consumers to Practice Egg Safety This Holiday Season

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reminds consumers to pay special attention to the handling of eggs and preparation of foods that contain eggs during this holiday season. Some holiday favorites, such as cookie dough, homemade eggnog, and some types of stuffing, may contain eggs that are raw or undercooked. Eggs sometimes contain a bacteria called Salmonella enteriditis (SE), which can cause illness if eggs are not handled and cooked properly. An FDA national survey of consumer food safety practices, the 2006 FDA/FSIS Food Safety Survey, found that cookie dough is one of the major sources of raw egg in the American diet, and that only three percent of respondents always use a food thermometer when they cook baked egg dishes such as stuffing.

However, just a few weeks ago it was announced that National Pasteurized Eggs’ Sales are Up 46 Percent Over Last Year & Numbers Expected to Soar as Holiday Season Approaches.

National Pasteurized Eggs, Inc. (NPE), producers of Davidson’s Safest Choice Pasteurized Shell Eggs, announced today that sales in the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2007, increased 46 percent over 2006, led by sales from hotels and resorts across the country.  By using pasteurized shell eggs, hoteliers eliminate the risk of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) poisoning, either by serving individual eggs directly to guests or via cross contamination in the kitchen.  The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) estimates 2.3 million eggs contaminated with SE are sold each year, exposing a large number of people to risk of illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year more than 118,000 egg-related salmonella cases are confirmed, and many more go underreported or misdiagnosed. The FDA’s Food Code recommends using pasteurized eggs in all dishes calling for raw or softly cooked eggs.

So, why are more eggs not pasteurized?