Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How to Handle Eggs Safely and Cook it Properly?

 

Eggs are a healthy, nutritious part of many peoples' diet. Like all perishable food they need careful handling to keep them safe. Fresh eggs must be handled carefully to avoid the possibility of food borne illness, often called "food poisoning." Even eggs with clean, uncracked shells may occasionally contain bacteria called Salmonella that can cause an intestinal infection.

how-to-handle-eggs-safely-and-cook-it-properly

1) The FDA requires that eggs be refrigerated at 45°F or lower. Once cold eggs are exposed to room temperature, they may “sweat,” which facilitates the growth of bacteria and may increase the risks of contamination. Refrigerated eggs should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours.

2) In general, egg whites coagulate between 144° and 149°F. Egg yolks coagulate between 149° and 158°F, and whole eggs coagulate between 144° and 158°F. If eggs are used in recipes with other ingredients, then the egg mixture should be cooked at 160°F to ward off any harmful bacteria. Length of time may vary depending on the added ingredients.

3) Buy Right. You can help keep eggs safe by making wise buying decisions at the grocery store.

  • Buy eggs only if sold from a refrigerator or refrigerated case.
  • Open the carton and make sure that the eggs are clean and the shells are not cracked.
  • Refrigerate promptly.
  • Store eggs in their original carton and use them within 3 weeks for best quality.

4) Keep Eggs Cold

  • Keep eggs in the fridge after purchase
  • Keep eggs in their carton
  • Don't eat food meant to be stored in the fridge if left out for more than 2 hours

5) Keep It Clean

  • Always use clean eggs, free from dirt and cracks
  • Keep hands, surfaces and utensils clean & dry before & after handling eggs
  • Separate whites from yolks using an egg separator

6) Eggs Need Care

  • Don't serve foods containing raw eggs to children under 2 years, pregnant women, people older than 70 years and people with low or compromised immune systems
  • Consume eggs within the recommended date on the carton 

7) Store Properly

  • Use hard-cooked eggs (in the shell or peeled) within 1 week after cooking.
  • Use frozen eggs within 1 year. Eggs should not be frozen in their shells. To freeze whole eggs, beat yolks and whites together. Egg whites can also be frozen by themselves.
  • Refrigerate leftover cooked egg dishes and use within 3 to 4 days. When refrigerating a large amount of a hot egg containing leftover, divide it into several shallow containers so it will cool quickly.


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How to Cook Egg-Recipes Correctly?

1) Thorough cooking is perhaps the most important step in making sure eggs are safe. 

  • Cook eggs until both the yolk and the white are firm. Scrambled eggs should not be runny.
  • Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160°F (72°C). Use a food thermometer to be sure.
  • For recipes that call for eggs that are raw or undercooked when the dish is served — Caesar salad dressing and homemade ice cream are two examples — use either shell eggs that have been treated to destroy Salmonella, by pasteurization or another approved method, or pasteurized egg products. Treated shell eggs are available from a growing number of retailers and are clearly labeled, while pasteurized egg products are widely available. 

2) If eggs are cooked with fluid ingredients, they may take longer to cook. The same holds true if eggs are cooked with sugar. Egg recipes that combine fluid ingredients and sugar may require higher temperatures for the eggs to set.

3) Both acids and salt help eggs to set (assuming that these ingredients are compatible with the recipe). If a little salt and lemon juice or vinegar is added during the cooking process, then eggs may develop a creamy tenderness at lower temperatures.

4) Adapting Recipes: If your recipe calls for uncooked eggs, make it safe by doing one of the following: 

  • Heating the eggs in one of the recipe’s other liquid ingredients over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 160 °F. Then, combine it with the other ingredients and complete the recipe. Or use pasteurized eggs or egg products.
  • Using pasteurized eggs or egg products.

5) Hot ingredients should slowly be added to cold ingredients; otherwise, eggs may be heated too quickly before they set. A little starch, such as cornstarch or flour, may slow down the egg protein from coagulating too quickly.

6) When egg whites are whipped into foams, such as in whipped toppings, their proteins link together. With further agitation, the foams usually inflate in size. If the foams separate and lose volume, this may be due to the tools that are used, or any acid, salt, sugar or water that is utilized in preparation.

7) Whipping egg whites in clean copper or steel bowls promotes tight bonds among the proteins and helps to create glossy foams. The presence of any trace of fat or detergent may interfere with these intricate protein bonds and successful foams.

8) If an acid, such as lemon juice or cream of tartar, is added to the egg whites, it helps to stabilize foams. Salt will increase the whipping time and decrease the strength of foams. While sugar may delay foaming, it contributes to the stability of foams. Water will make foams lighter, but they may separate.

9) The odorous nature of cooked eggs may be caused by the exposure of egg whites to high temperatures, especially if the eggs are old. It may also be a reflection of a hen’s diet and if it is caged or free-range. A little acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, in the preparation of eggs may help to reduce this odor.

10) Dry meringue shells, divinity candy, and 7-minute frosting are safe — these are made by combining hot sugar syrup with beaten egg whites. However, avoid icing recipes using uncooked eggs or egg whites. 

Meringue-topped pies should be safe if baked at 350 °F for about 15 minutes. But avoid chiffon pies and fruit whips made with raw, beaten egg whites — instead, substitute pasteurized dried egg whites, whipped cream, or a whipped topping.

11) Chiffon pies and fruit whips made with raw, beaten egg whites are risky. Instead, substitute pasteurized dried egg whites, whipped cream, or a whipped topping. 

To make a recipe safe that specifies using eggs that aren't cooked, heat the eggs in a liquid from the recipe over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 160 ° F. Then combine it with the other ingredients and complete the recipe.

12) Don't keep out of the refrigerator more than two hours. Serve cooked eggs and egg-rich foods immediately after cooking, or place in shallow containers for quick cooling and refrigerate at once. Use within three to four days. Recipes using raw eggs should be cooked immediately or refrigerated and cooked within 24 hours.



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