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.
To avoid egg-related illness from holiday foods:
- Do not eat unbaked cookie dough.
- Cook baked egg-containing dishes to160 degrees F.
- Make recipes that call for raw or undercooked eggs, like eggnog, with eggs that have been treated to destroy Salmonella or with pasteurized egg products.