Sun, Jun 09, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Wash eggs to avoid salmonella, experts say

HYGIENIC COOKING:While salmonella can be treated with antibiotics, infants, elderly people and people with a weakened immune system can suffer serious complications

By Lin Hui-chin  /  Staff reporter

Two eggs sit on a cutting board on Thursday. Doctors say that washing eggs before cooking them and not storing them at room temperature helps to avoid salmonella contamination.

Photo: Lin Hui-chin, Taipei Times

People should wash eggs before cooking them and avoid storing them at room temperature or eating raw or half-cooked eggs to prevent salmonella infection, health experts said on Friday.

Local Chinese-language media reported that the Chiayi District Prosecutors’ Office on Thursday indicted four people running a breakfast eatery in Chiayi County after a student died and 44 people fell sick after allegedly eating their meals.

People can contract salmonellosis — an infection caused by salmonella bacteria — by eating food tainted by animal or human feces, such as uncooked or half-boiled eggs, milk and meat products, the Centers for Disease Control said.

Infants and adults with urinary incontinence are more vulnerable to the disease, it said.

Acute gastroenteritis is one of the disease’s most common symptoms, while nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and stomach pain can occur within six to 48 hours of infection, the centers said.

While people often recover in 72 hours after having a fever, infants, elderly people and people with a weakened immune system could suffer from bacteria in the bloodstream or other complications, the centers said.

Salmonella is often found in animal intestines and is therefore more likely to pollute egg shells, said Huang Li-min (黃立民), director of National Taiwan University Hospital’s Department of Pediatrics.

If the shells of polluted eggs are not cleaned, the bacteria could spread to utensils and kitchen workspaces, he said, adding that people can also fall ill by eating eggs stored at room temperature for a long time.

Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics to treat salmonellosis, Huang said, adding that people are advised to wash their hands before preparing food and avoid eating uncooked meat or eggs.

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