Monday, August 30, 2010

Incredible, still edible, but cook it!

There seems to be some dismay among food safety experts and advocates because egg producers in the wake of the DeCoster farms-related salmonella scare are advising consumers to cook eggs thoroughly. I suppose that's understandable. We've all been led to believe --- along the same lines as Santa Claus --- that an egg shell protects its contents and that it is therefore safe, although unappetizing to many, to eat the things virtually raw.

On the other hand, we've known for years that raw chicken can carry salmonella. That's why we're advised to handle chicken carefully, cook it thoroughly and clean up well after. So it's not really surprising that a hen contaminated by salmonella can lay contaminated eggs.

This of course does not excuse producers who by ignoring basic safety measures actively encouraged contamination.

Except when eating at restaurants where heaven only knows what goes on in the kitchen, none of this has been a problem in my family, where grave suspicion always has surrounded anything undercooked or not cooked.

I'll have nothing to do under any circumstances with eggnog, including the storebought pasturized variety. Same goes for homemade mayonnaise. If confronted by a fried egg, I want to be assured that it has been thoroughly smacked down with a spatula and cooked for a prolonged period so that there is no possibility anything yellow and runny will issue from it.

The same principle applies to red meat. Before it goes into my mouth, it must be brown --- not the slightest  hint of pink. I know that such an approach is considered heresy by many carnivorous foodies, but it tastes just fine to me.


Ed said...

I like the occasional over-easy egg for breakfast with a piece of toast to mop up the aftermath. But like everyone else, I started frying the heck out of them when this all hit the fan. That is until I googled Hy-Vee where I buy my eggs and found that they are not apart of this recall. I've since gone back to my old habits.

Anonymous said...

My standard restaurant order involving eggs is "scrambled and burned". In Iowa, at least, I usually get them just as I want, dry with a trace of brown on them.

Bill H.