Raw eggs are a source if salmonella and must be handled with care. Salmonella may be present inside the egg or on the shell, especially if contaminated with chicken faeces. Retailers should store eggs at a constant cool temperature below 20°C. Fluctuations of temperature may result in condensation on the shell and salmonella being sucked into the egg from the surface. Stock rotation is essential. Retailers should label eggs with a ‘sell by’ date to ensure a minimum of 7 days ‘best before’ date shelf life for the consumer.
Caterers should purchase eggs from a reputable supplier. Lion-branded and date coded eggs are preferable as they originate from hens vaccinated against salmonella. Soiled, cracked or out-of-date eggs should be rejected. The caterer should store eggs under refrigeration and strictly observe the ‘best before’ date, as both of these factors will prevent the multiplication of any salmonella that may be present. Some food businesses remove eggs from refrigeration at least 30 minutes before cooking, to ensure that correct cooking temperatures are achieved.
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