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Simple procedures ensure safe, natural eggs

by 5m Editor
2 April 2007, at 10:28am

AUSTRALIA - The Australian Egg Corporation Limited (AECL) today assured consumers that the egg industry takes food safety very seriously following reports of salmonella outbreaks in north-west Tasmania.

AECL Managing Director, James Kellaway, said that the egg industry in Tasmania is well regulated with respect to food safety, with the vast majority of farmers maintaining very high standards of food safety throughout the supply chain.

“Tasmania has some of the safest and cleanest eggs in the world. This is due to the very high quality standards maintained by the vast majority of egg farmers, combined with a system of food safety regulation that is on par with the world’s best,” said Mr Kellaway. Although it has not been confirmed whether a number of recent food poisoning cases are directly related to eggs, AECL supports the actions now being undertaken by authorities to identify the source of this outbreak.

AECL distributes detailed information on food labelling standards as they pertain to egg products. It is clearly understood by the Australian egg industry that cracked and dirty eggs must not be made available for retail or catering purposes. Nevertheless, food service operators in particular have a duty to maintain good food hygiene practices for the safety of their patrons when handling any fresh or perishable food products.

“Like all perishable foods eggs need to be handled carefully, and consumers and the food service industry are again reminded to check eggs before use to ensure they are not cracked or dirty,” said Mr Kellaway.

Correctly handling and storing eggs and following the simple rules outlined below will maximise the safety, quality and freshness of eggs:

  • Always buy eggs that are clean
  • Always place and keep eggs in the refrigerator as soon as possible after purchase (one day at room temperature is equal to a week in the fridge).
  • Keep eggs in their original carton (cartons reduce water loss and protect flavours from other foods being absorbed into the eggs).
  • Allow no more than two hours at room temperature for preparation and serving.
  • Eggs should be cooked until the white is completely formed and yolk begins to thicken.
  • Always use eggs within the use-by-date as stated on the carton.
  • Fresh eggs can be kept refrigerated in their carton for at least 4 weeks (quality losses are kept to a minimum if eggs are placed in the refrigerator as soon as possible after purchase).

The egg industry is also committed to continuous improvements in food safety as demonstrated through the national egg quality assurance program, Egg Corp Assured.

“Egg Corp Assured is a third party audited quality system that ensures farmers meet all relevant standards concerning animal health, animal welfare, environmental management, labelling claims—and food safety.

“Only farmers that have their quality assurance program regularly audited against the program standards by independent auditors can become Egg Corp Assured.

“Consumers can now purchase Egg Corp Assured eggs with utmost confidence, knowing that they are a safe, healthy and nutritious food,” concluded Mr Kellaway.

5m Editor