Eggs and COVID19

This is a tagline that most of us in India would be very familiar with…. from the persuasive advertising of the goodness of eggs! In plain English it just means “On Sunday or Monday, every day you can eat an Egg”

Eggs are rated as one of Nature’s most perfectly balanced foods, containing all the protein, minerals and vitamins (except vitamin C) essential for good health. And they are tasty too when cooked ! I am emphasizing on this as there is a fad some people , especially young, athletic types have, about consuming raw eggs and such like.

Egg white contains an anti nutritional factor (avidin) which binds with biotin and makes it unavailable, it also contains a protein (ovomucoid) which can inhibit trypsin activity. However cooking (or boiling) ensures that these anti nutritional factors are destroyed. Hence eat only cooked eggs, as there is no benefit achieved in eating them raw.

  • 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 70° C. Use a food thermometer to be sure.
  • Once cooked , hot items must be served straight away and cold items must be stored cold.

Kitchen Safety : Wash hands, utensils and equipment with hot, soapy water and wipe down kitchen surfaces with a regular kitchen compatible surface disinfectant, before and after they come in contact with raw eggs and raw egg-containing foods.

Do we put all our eggs in one basket? Read on for eggciting info. In these COVID19 pandemic times, everyone is washing everything! Including eggs! Scrubbing things with disinfectant or soap or warm water is ok, even if it borders on OCD… However Do NOT wash eggs ! Definitely not!! The eggshell has pores , just the way your face has pores. Try running a wet finger on the surface of a dry egg, and you will feel a slight bit of slime. Simply put, there is a substance that blocks these eggshell pores which prevents entry for the harmful bacteria from outside. The egg shell pores become more porous when wet, making it easier for bacteria to get in. Do you want that ? Obviously not.

Fresh eggs, even those with clean, uncracked shells, may contain bacteria called Salmonella that can cause foodborne illness.

So what do you do?…. Simply wipe away extraneous dirt on the surface of the egg with a dry tissue or kitchen towel before storing in the fridge or use a dry toothbrush for gently scraping away at contaminants on the egg shell surface. DO NOT wash before storing.

You can help keep eggs safe by storing them safely! * Firstly prefer to buy eggs only from a proper vendor who stacks and stores eggs properly, or if you are the supermarket type of grocery shopper, select the cartonized eggs. * Check the eggs you buy to make sure that the eggs are clean and the shells are not cracked. * Preferably store promptly in your refrigerator at a temperature of 4°C or below. * Use eggs within a maximum of two weeks when kept refrigerated.

The masked bandit on the prowl! Searching for contaminated eggs!

How to know if you have any ‘bad eggs’ ….Sniffing either a raw or cooked egg is a simple but reliable way to tell if an egg has gone bad. You can shake it gently beforehand too, there is a particular feel you will get when an egg is bad… like a sloshing within the egg. The popular Float Test , wherein you simply place an egg in a glass or mug of water, and if the egg sinks it is good, i.e fresh, and if it floats , it is not fresh , is a simple screening technique. However, it cannot tell you if an egg has gone bad. Dont do this Float Test before storing in the fridge.. Remember, you dont want to wash your eggs!

However, the simplest way to check an egg, is to crack the egg into a clean bowl and give it a sniff. If anything smells ‘off’, discard the egg and wash the bowl with hot, soapy water before using again.

Be safe, stay safe! Eat an egg a day, a week, a month, or not at all! Just do not wash them before storing them.

Published by Delta Zulu Consultancy

I am a Public Health Specialist with a passion for sustainable promotion of human co-existence with the environment! My areas of interest and expertise are Health Risk Communication and Community Engagement, Food Safety, Environmental Medicine and Mass Gathering Medicine. I believe in leveraging the power of technology to capture the imagination of people to inspire them to achieve their health potential, in a sustainable manner. I aspire to empower my partners and motivate stake holders to consistently seek 'work around' solutions, while hoping to achieve an utopian ideal balance.

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