Today the White House Easter Egg Roll turned out to be a fun event by all accounts and sort of encouraged this blog to revisit a popular post on the egg supply chain on a more happier note. For on Easter Monday it is nice to think of new beginnings, of Spring and the question of egg safety. The egg safety mantra seems to be cool in distribution and supply chain and hot before you eat :
- Cool in the supply chain/distribution from farm to retailer and consumer
Eggs are popular worldwide with the US having a production of 75 billion eggs that is only 10% of the world production compared to top producer China who produce 390 billion eggs or half the world production (see the Chapter 9 video at the American Egg Board). In the developing world, poultry keeping is an occupation of the marginal farmer or landless labor and offers the potential for income and nutrition to large parts of the world's bottom of the pyramid. As larger egg farms become more popular worldwide there are really two things to keep in mind when it comes to egg safety. The American Egg Board recommends in #11, immediate cooling of eggs at the farm to 40-45 degree F or 5-7 degree C which is difficult in large parts of the world including Africa,Asia and Latin America. In these places the best bet is to move eggs quickly from farm to retail outlets. The distribution channel for at least 50 % of the world's eggs ( at a guess about 350 Billion eggs per year ) could probably do better with refrigeration in the supply chain or distribution channel right from the farm to retail stores. A potential opportunity for the refrigeration and cooling industry.
- Heat to at least "doneness" guidelines before eating
Meanwhile consumers need to just cook eggs properly. And this is defined pretty well in the American Egg Board's "Doneness" guidelines . According to these guidelines 160 deg F or 72. 2 deg C kills off salmonella. This happens when the egg white completely sets in poached egg and the yolk is still partially liquid. Hard boiled eggs are the safest and need to be kept in the shell and eaten within seven days even if you have them in the fridge.So in case you have painted hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator from Easter, be sure to eat them soon ! Contact StratoServe.