A top official at the Iowa Department of Public Health is reminding people to take precautions, but don’t panic, when it comes to cooking and eating eggs. Wright County Egg in the northern Iowa town of Galt is expanding its recall of potentially salmonella-tainted eggs to 380-million eggs.
While hundreds of people were sickened in several states, Health Department medical director Patty Quinlisk says that’s not the case here. “We’ve had no illness here in Iowa that we can link directly back to eggs that are being recalled,” Quinlisk says. “However, we do believe that some of those eggs may have been distributed in Iowa and certainly the recommendation is that you have those eggs, the best thing you can do is take them back to where you bought them and get a refund.”
Thoroughly cook your eggs, she says, and you should be fine. Dr. Quinlisk says, “Cooking eggs until the whites of the eggs are truly white and the yolk of the egg is no longer runny will kill any bacteria that might have gotten into there and will, of course, make it safe.”
Health officials say hundreds of illnesses are confirmed in California, Colorado, Minnesota and North Carolina, with more cases suspected in a half-dozen other states. In some of the cases, restaurants were serving dishes that involved raw eggs, which Quinlisk says is almost always a no-no.
“Eggs, just like raw chicken and raw meat, can be occasionally contaminated and you need to handle them correctly in your kitchen to make sure the food you’re serving your family or eating yourself is as safe as it can possibly be,” Quinlisk says. If there’s a recipe that demands raw eggs, she says go to the store and buy pasteurized eggs, which should be bacteria-free.
She offers a few more kitchen tips: “As you’re handling the raw eggs, the shell and everything, that can be contaminated,” Quinlisk says. “Just be sure and wash your hands after you handle them and if you had them touch a cutting board, wash that cutting board before you use it again.” The eggs in the recall are packaged under several brand names, including: Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps.
Learn more at: “www.eggsafety.org”.