Avoid salmonella this Easter
It’s that time of year when we hunt for Easter eggs and enjoy them as deviled eggs or egg salad. It’s also a good time of year to talk about taking extra precautions when handling eggs to avoid salmonella.
“Salmonella is a type of food poisoning. It is a common bacterial illness that affects the intestinal tract,” says Dr. Tony Hampton, a family medicine physician with Advocate Medical Group in Chicago.
Foods such as eggs, dairy, beef and poultry can become contaminated during processing and handling, causing salmonella symptoms ranging from abdominal cramps to fever and diarrhea.
“The illness can last anywhere from two to seven days and usually just needs to run its course,” says Dr. Hampton. “However, patients should be monitored for dehydration. If you are constantly vomiting for more than one day, have a fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit, have diarrhea for more than two days, notice decreased urine production, or experience confusion or weakness, you should consult a physician.”
When it comes to avoiding salmonella when coloring your Easter eggs, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends the following tips:
- Hard cook eggs first.
- Once you dye them, return them to the refrigerator within two hours.
- Use a food-safe coloring.
- Wash your hands before handling the eggs.
- Eat the eggs within seven days of cooking.
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About the Author
Shannon Homolka, health enews contributor, is a manager of public affairs and marketing at Advocate South Suburban Hospital. She is also an adjunct faculty member at two local Chicagoland universities. Shannon has a passion for figure skating, becoming professional at age 16, and has been coaching upcoming skaters for over 20 years. Her other love is her Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier named Mojoe who serves as her running and workout partner every morning.