Thursday, March 11, 2010


It is not too often one can see in a film the hero swallowing fresh eggs directly after breaking but such a picture conveys the image of a strong man. That raw egg is not readily digestible is a known fact because of the presence of anti-nutritive factors in it which are temperature sensitive and therefore are inactivated during cooking. It is rarely that one thinks of serious consequences of microbial contamination on the egg surface that can prove fatal in some cases. As for food products manufacturers egg presents safety challenges to be overcome before clearing the processed products for consumption. It is a different story in the kitchens of many house holds where fresh preparations are made from raw eggs for family consumption. Here lies the danger and the warning by health authorities is timely to prevent any food borne illness'

"With so many traditional recipes calling for uncooked egg - mayonnaise, caesar salad, eggnog, carbonara, never mind the simple joy of dunking toast in soft-boiled eggs - what can we safely do with raw eggs? Simply put, raw eggs can carry salmonella, bacteria that can cause serious food poisoning, even death. But to be fair, any raw food can be contaminated. After all, salmonella is what triggered the massive peanut butter recall last year. The Food and Drug Administration is pretty clear on the matter, telling people eggs should be fully cooked until both the yolks and the whites are firm. They tell people not to eat or even taste any foods that may contain raw or undercooked eggs".

The difference between industry and the domestic kitchen is that the latter lacks reliable pasteurization facilities for making the egg melange safe from pathogens. Indian consumer could be far more vulnerable to egg borne illnesses because of the indifferent environment in the poultry farms, use of sun-dried fish meal in the feeds, non-existence of washing and sanitizing facilities and improper storage and transportation systems in use. Of course that is why Indian egg is the cheapest in the world too!


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