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PENNSYLVANIA ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES, HEALTH DEPARTMENTS RECOMMEND MEASURES FOR COOKING, HANDLING EGGS

 PENNSYLVANIA ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES, HEALTH DEPARTMENTS
 RECOMMEND MEASURES FOR COOKING, HANDLING EGGS
 HARRISBURG, Pa., June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- With the Fourth of July holiday just days away, the state departments of Environmental Resources (DER) and Health are urging caution when preparing picnic foods, especially items that contain eggs.
 Incidents of Salmonellosis outbreaks have been increasing in recent years in the Northeastern United States and in Pennsylvania, according to Duain Shaw, chief of DER's Food Service Facilities Section in the Division of Food Protection.
 "Many of the outbreaks were caused by eating contaminated eggs or egg products," Shaw said. "But by following some basic guidelines, you can enjoy your favorite foods and still ensure your family's safety."
 According to Health Department statistics, two cases of foodborne disease outbreaks believed to be caused by Salmonella bacteria have been reported so far this year. DER has investigated 43 such cases since 1989.
 Salmonella bacteria are found in eggs at an estimated rate of one in 10,000 eggs. Eating a contaminated egg or egg product can cause sickness and even death. The only way to prevent Salmonellosis is to store, handle and cook eggs properly.
 DER and the Department of Health recommend the following tips to ensure egg safety:
 Handling and Storing Eggs:
 -- Never buy or use cracked eggs
 -- Refrigerate eggs at no higher than 40 degrees
 -- Store eggs in their original carton
 -- Never use eggs that have been out of the refrigerator for several hours
 Cooking Eggs the Right Way:
 -- Never eat raw or partially cooked eggs or use them in recipes
 -- Cook scrambled eggs for at least one minute at medium heat (250 degrees)
 -- Cook poached eggs for at least five minutes in boiling water
 -- Cook uncovered sunny-side eggs for at least seven minutes at medium heat and covered eggs for at least four minutes
 -- Cook fried or over easy eggs for at least three minutes at medium heat on one side, then at least another minute on the flip side
 -- Cook boiled eggs at least seven minutes in boiling water
 -- Avoid runny eggs by cooking all eggs until the yolks and whites are firm
 Foods Containing Eggs:
 -- Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold until serving
 -- Don't store egg-rich dishes more than three-to-four days
 -- Wash your hands, work surfaces and utensils before preparing egg dishes
 -- Use high-quality foods
 -0- 6/30/92
 /CONTACT: Susan Rickens of the DER, 717-787-1323, or Kathy Liebler of the Department of Health, 717-787-1783/ CO: Pennsylvania Department of Health; Department of Environmental
 Resources ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


CC -- PH025 -- 5233 06/30/92 13:59 EDT
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Date:Jun 30, 1992
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