PhotoYou can't make an omelet without cracking eggs -- and you can't crack eggs safely unless you wash your hands with soap and water after doing so. But a new survey finds that fewer than half of us do that. We don't cook the yolks enough, either.

The sorry state of American egg handling comes from research conducted by a team from,RTI International, Tennessee State University, and Kansas State University.

They found that only 48% of consumers wash their hands with soap and water after cracking eggs. Because hands are the primary vehicle for spreading pathogens in the kitchen, USDA and the Partnership for Food Safety recommend that consumers wash their hands before and after handling raw eggs.

Equally disturbing, more than half of participants who fry or poach eggs leave the yolks soft or runny, something discouraged by the Food and Drug Administration.

A team of researchers from RTI International, Tennessee State University, and Kansas State University have just published,the findings of their survey,of handling practices and consumption of shell eggs in U.S. homes. The study was partially funded by the Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The survey, conducted in September 2013, also found that 13% reported rinsing or washing eggs before cooking them, another potentially unsafe practice because of the possibility of cross-contamination.

The problem with all of this, of course, is Salmonella enteriditis, commonly spread by eggs. An,estimated,64%,of outbreaks between 1998-2008 caused by,Salmonella,enteriditis were attributed to eggs.

Oh, and one other thing -- stop eating that raw cookie dough and cake batter! Fully 25% of those surveyed owned up to this dangerous practice, and only 5% said they use a food thermometer to be sure baked dishes are fully cooked.


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