It is estimated that approximately four million Canadians experience
some form of food-related illness every year. Many of these illnesses
could be prevented by following proper food handling and preparation
techniques. Keep reading for tips to prevent foodborne illness.
What you should do
Shop carefully: Choose refrigerated eggs with clean shells that aren't cracked. Pick up
eggs and other cold foods at the end of your shopping trip so they stay
cold. Don't buy eggs if liquid has leaked through the shell or if they
are stuck to the carton. Check the "best before" date. While all eggs
sold in Canadian grocery stores are graded Canada A, those sold
elsewhere (such as at farms and farmers' markets) may be ungraded.
Ungraded eggs are not subject to the same food safety standards as
graded eggs and have a higher chance of being contaminated by harmful
bacteria such as Salmonella. Check for the maple leaf symbol on the carton or ask the vendor if
you're unsure whether the eggs are graded.
Keep eggs cold: Refrigerate eggs within two hours of purchase and place them in the
coldest part of the refrigerator in their original carton; don't keep
eggs in the refrigerator door. The carton helps protect the eggs from
damage and odours. Whether raw or cooked, eggs shouldn't be kept at
room temperature for more than two hours. Hard-cooked eggs can be
stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container, either in the shell,
peeled, or pickled, for up to one week. Hard-cooked yolks should be
eaten within five days. If you pack eggs in your lunch, include an ice
pack to keep them cold.
Keep clean: Remember to wash your hands, utensils, cutting boards, and counters
carefully with soap and warm water before and after handling raw eggs.
This helps to avoid potential cross contamination and prevent the
spread of foodborne illness.
Cook thoroughly: Raw eggs can contain harmful bacteria. Eggs and egg-based foods should
be cooked thoroughly to ensure they are safe to eat. Serve egg dishes
immediately after cooking. Store any leftovers in containers and
refrigerate them within two hours. Uncooked cookie dough and batters
made with raw eggs can contain Salmonella and should not be tasted or eaten until cooked thoroughly. Use pasteurized egg products instead of raw eggs when you are preparing
uncooked homemade foods that use raw eggs, such as icing or Caesar
Easter eggs: Decorated eggs that have been left out on display are not safe to eat. If you want to eat eggs that you decorate, they should be
hard boiled thoroughly and cooled (either by immersing in cold tap
water or on the counter until they have reached room temperature)
before putting them in the refrigerator. Use a non-toxic colouring dye
on eggs. Be sure that eggs are kept cold before and after they are
dyed. Between cooling and dyeing, they should be out of the
refrigerator for no more than two hours in total. Coloured hard-boiled
eggs can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to
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