Next time when you purchase eggs for your family, be careful as you may be at risk of salmonella food poisoning. In recent news, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has recalled eggs from Lay Hong Berhad Layer Farm Jeram in Malaysia, after it detected the presence of Salmonella enteritidis. SFA has suspended the farm and will lift the ban only when the farm has rectified the SE contamination issue.
The SFA has also reportedly directed several importers to recall eggs that have the farm code "CES008" on them. These importers include Ang Seng Eggs Supplier, Dasoon, Heng Guan Food Industrial and Lam Leng Trading.
All You Need To Know About Salmonella
Salmonella food poisoning (Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia)
Salmonella is a kind of bacteria that can cause food-borne illnesses. It can be present in the intestines of animals, and you can find it in raw meats, raw dairy products, poultry, as well as eggs. The bacteria can spread to humans through the consumption of contaminated food and drinks.
In particular, Salmonella can contaminate eggs in two ways.
- The first way is via faecal contamination. In this, the insides of eggs may be contaminated when bacteria in the faeces enter through pores on the shells.
- The second way is exclusive to one particular type of Salmonella known as Salmonella Enteritidis (SE). In SE-infected layer hen, the bacteria can be found in their ovaries and they enter the eggs even before the shells are formed. Infected hen does not appear sick, but will occasionally lay SE-contaminated eggs.
Symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning
Symptoms of salmonella food poisoning include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fever, nausea, abdominal cramps and vomiting.
According to SFA, salmonella enteritidis usually subsides within a week in most people. However, it can cause serious infection in vulnerable groups such as the elderly, young children, expecting mothers, and those with weakened immune systems.
Here's When To Rush Your Kid To A Doctor
A child may vomit and exhibit other symptoms (Photo Courtesy: Pixabay)
Parents should stay alert and watch out for symptoms if they see their child suffering from any of the following
- Severe dehydration-including excessive thirst, no urination for over three hours or cries without tears.
- Vomiting that lasts for over 12 hours in infants, 1 day in children younger than age 2, or 2 days in other children.
- Bloody stools
Precautions You Need to Take To Avoid Salmonella Food Poisoning
Eggs are one of the most nutritious and economical foods which are used in most houses. Considering the risks of Salmonella food poisoning, you must bear in mind certain precautions while cooking eggs.
- Purchase eggs from SFA- approved businesses (farms, importers, retailers) and ensure that the shells are clean, free from faecal contamination, and not cracked.
- Cook the eggs thoroughly before consumption, as heat destroys the bacteria. The egg white and the yolk need to be firm to avoid the risk of salmonella food poisoning. Runny egg whites or yolks may still contain bacteria.
- Eat eggs or dishes containing eggs as soon as possible after cooking.
- Use separate crockery and utensils for raw eggs and ready-to-eat/cooked food.
- To prevent the risk of cross-contamination, wash your hands thoroughly with soap before and after handling eggs.
- Refrigerate (below 4°C) food containing eggs promptly to avoid the growth of bacteria that may be present in the dish.
- Consider buying and using pasteurised eggs and egg products that are widely available.
- Make sure that foods that contain raw or lightly cooked eggs, such as hollandaise sauce, and tiramisu, are made only with pasteurised eggs.
- CDC mentions another important point which we often end up doing. Do not taste or eat any raw dough or batter, such as cookie dough and cake mix, made with raw eggs.
Alternatives To Eggs For Proteins
Tofu salad (Photo Credits: Flickr)
If you are replacing eggs in your child's diet, add an adequate amount of other protein-rich foods for their growth and development. Here are some alternatives, you may consider:
- Cooked Lentils
Remember, protein requirements depend on a child's age and weight. The US Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services published updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 2020.
- According to this, a child between the age of 2-3 years should consume 13 grams of protein daily.
- Until a child reaches 14 years old, protein recommendations are the same for both boys and girls.
- In later years, boys should eat more protein because they are gaining more muscle mass and weigh more than girls.
- Girls in the age group of 14-18 years recommended a daily dose of 46-grams of daily protein.
- Boys in the same age group require 52-grams of daily protein dose.
You can always experiment with your child's palate. Most kids love different flavours. Therefore, instead of relying on one source of protein, look for other options.
As a parent, salmonella infection must concern you, especially now that the kids are home. Remember, there is no need to panic. Eggs are safe when cooked and handled properly.
News Source: Straits Times
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