Buy refrigerated eggs and cook and store them properly, says UGA expert

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The recent recall of potentially contaminated eggs may have consumers concerned about eating their favorite egg dishes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration are investigating an outbreak of illness caused by Salmonella and linked to cage-free large eggs from Gravel Ridge Farms in Cullman, Alabama. 

The potentially contaminated eggs, which were distributed between June 25 and Sept. 6, have been recalled. They were packaged in cardboard containers and sold primarily in restaurants and retail stores, including some stores in Georgia. For a complete listing of where products were sold, visit www.fda.gov.

The recalled eggs were sold in single dozen and 2.5 dozen flats with the UPC code 7-06970-38444-6.  The products have “best if used by” dates listed between the dates of July 25, 2018, and Oct. 3, 2018. 

Consumers, retailers and restaurants that have Gravel Ridge Farm eggs in their refrigerator should check the UPC code and the “best if used by” dates to see if they match the recalled product.

If you have the recalled product, do not eat, serve or sell the eggs. Instead, return them to the store or vendor where you purchased them or throw them away. Even if some of the eggs have been used and no one became ill, you should still not eat them.

Eggs that are not a part of the recall can be safely used. However, eggs should always be handled with safety in mind. Follow these tips from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension to safely prepare eggs.

Buy only refrigerated eggs.

Always cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm. Recipes that contain eggs, like quiches or casseroles, should be cooked until they reach an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit when measured with a food thermometer.  If you prepare recipes such as sauces, ice creams, dressings or desserts that contain uncooked or lightly cooked eggs, use only pasteurized eggs. Look for products labeled as “pasteurized.”

Keep eggs refrigerated before cooking.  After you cook them, eat or refrigerate the cooked eggs or moist foods containing eggs within two hours or one hour if the surrounding temperature is 90 degrees Farenheit or hotter.

Always wash your hands after handling raw eggs.  Wash countertops, utensils or dishes that come in contact with raw eggs.

For more information on the safe handling of eggs, contact your local UGA Family and Consumer Sciences Extension agent at 1-800-Ask-UGA1.

Judy Harrison is a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension food safety specialist with the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.
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