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Use pasteurized eggs to ensure eggnog safety

NorthJersey.com featured an article today on keeping eggnog safe by either buying pasteurized eggnog or using pasteurized eggs to make home-made eggnog. Salmonella and Campylobacter are common causes of foodborne illness that can be caused by eating raw eggs, and health officials are urging consumers to take precautions to prevent illness over the holidays.

Feldman advises against using raw eggs for the eggnog; instead, he suggests using pasteurized egg products, the kind found in cardboard containers in the dairy section of the supermarket, or pre-made eggnogs, all of which are pasteurized. The taste is different — more like a cooked egg than a raw one — but it’s safer.

Raw eggs can carry two main disease-causing bacteria: salmonella and campylobacter. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, contaminated eggshells caused 182,000 cases of salmonella poisoning in 2000. For most people, that means nothing more than flu-like symptoms, but those with weak immune systems can suffer more severe illness. Campylobacter infections, called campylobacteriosis, lead to a few days of abdominal discomfort and diarrhea, but the body usually takes care of it.”