The salmonella outbreak that sickened and hospitalized 12 people who ate pork and Ascot pies from The Pork Pie Shop in Victor Harbor, South Australia has been linked to the raw egg wash which was applied to the pies after they had been cooked, according to SA Health officials today.
SA Health’s Director of Food and Controlled Drugs Branch Dr Fay Jenkins said the results are a reminder for anyone who is cooking with eggs to practise safe egg handling.
“Results confirmed Salmonella was present in raw egg wash which was applied to the pork and Ascot pies after they had been cooked,” Dr Jenkins said.
“Bacteria such as Salmonella can be found on the shell of eggs and while eggs may not necessarily look or smell bad, they can easily be contaminated.
“Therefore, raw egg in dishes will always present a potential risk of Salmonella and good food safety practices are essential in any kitchen to prevent contamination.”
Dr Jenkins said that eggs are a raw product that should be handled like raw meat or poultry.
“People in the home and in commercial kitchens need to remain vigilant when preparing raw egg dishes and cooking with eggs,” Dr Jenkins said.
“About half of all Salmonella cases we see are linked to eggs, so it is important that everyone uses safe food handling techniques at all times when using them.
“So far this year, there have been four Salmonella outbreaks related to eggs and 246 South Australians have had a type of Salmonella associated with eggs.”
“Some of these people will have been part of localized outbreaks, but most of them were possibly infected with Salmonella from handling eggs at home.
“People need to remember not to use eggs if they’re cracked or dirty, wash their hands after handling eggs, keep their raw egg products refrigerated and consume any raw egg product within 24 hours of preparing.”
The outbreak of Salmonella infection from The Pork Pie Shop was linked to 12 cases in people aged 19 to 82, four of whom were hospitalized as a result.
Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps and most individuals recover without treatment. In some cases, diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
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