Eggs are very high in protein, but the big problem in handling and preparing them is how avoid salmonella, a bacterial infection that may be present in them.
Eggs are not only a delicious food, but also one of the most used in sauces, creams, desserts, sweets and all kinds of sweet or savory dishes.
Its binding, coloring and emulsifying properties make it the perfect ingredient to improve the texture and appearance of cooked food.
They symbolize life and that is why they are part of many traditions, such as the Easter Day celebration in Anglo-Saxon countries.
But eggs can become contaminated with salmonella, a bacteria found in the feces of chickens and other poultry.
Salmonella produces a gastrointestinal condition called salmoneliosis, characterized by vomiting, diarrhea and fever.
For this reason, it is important that you know some practical tips to avoid salmonella or minimize the risk of infection by consuming eggs.
What is salmonella?
The salmonella is a bacillus-type enterobacteria that is present in the intestines and feces of birds, rodents and insects.
It can also be found on the skin of some reptiles such as turtles and snakes.
Its group is made up of two species, the Salmonella enterica Y Salmonella bongori.
The Salmonella enterica it is the one that represents the greatest danger to health human and animal.
To this subfamily belong more than 2,500 serotypes of salmonella enterica identified to date.
Although it does not resist well to exposure to sunlight, high temperatures, or dry environment, it can be difficult avoid salmonella due to its great ability to reproduce in the presence of organic matter.
The eggs become infected when they pass through the cloaca of the sick hen, an area where the excrement of this bird also passes.
The disease caused by this bacillus is called salmonellosis and is characterized by fever, vomiting and diarrhea.
And although many cases of salmonella when handling eggs, too may be present in other foods.
What is required for salmonella infection?
Like many foodborne infections, salmonella needs certain conditions in order to affect human health.
First of all, there must be a sufficient concentration of bacteria on the surface of the egg, that is, it must reach the minimum “infective dose”.
This dose is estimated at 1 million bacteria as the minimum amount to trigger salmoneliosis.
With a temperature between 30 and 37 degrees Celsius and sufficient humidity, a small colony of bacteria can grow to the infective dose in a few hours.
And here is part of the key that we will give you to avoid salmonella and it is that this bacillus dies quickly after 60 degrees.
The big problem when it comes to consuming eggs is that there is no clear way to know if their shell has been exposed to salmonella bacteria.
For this reason, it is better to be cautious to avoid the risk of salmonella when handling eggs.
How to prevent salmonella when handling eggs?
Following a few simple tips you can avoid salmonella and protect your health.
- Always buy eggs produced on farms that are registered and supervised by the health authorities.
- If you buy organic eggs or take them from a domestic chicken coop, you should wash them very well to remove any traces of fecal feces from the hen.
- Do not wash the eggs until they are consumed so as not to damage a very thin protective layer on their surface that protects them from pathogens and contaminants.
- Very important, if any egg has been broken, throw it away immediately to avoid risks, even if it just has a small crack.
- Another tip for avoid salmonella is that you keep the eggs in the fridge as separate as possible from other foods.
- To kill salmonella, you must cook the eggs at 60 degrees Celsius for at least 3 and a half minutes.
- Never eat raw or undercooked eggs if you suspect the sanitary quality of the place of origin of the eggs.
- And finally, something very important, you must wash your hands very well before and after handling eggs, to avoid transferring the bacteria to other foods.
With these tips you can safely enjoy this delicious food that, among other things, supplies proteins and several of the essential vitamins for women.
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