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HERE’S A THOUGHT that might put you off breakfast: if you were in America, you’d have been advised not to mop up your runny egg yolk with some toast.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the bizarre advice yesterday as it told consumers to thoroughly cook their eggs – and not to use toast to mop up any leftovers – in the wake of a massive national salmonella outbreak.
Speaking on TV yesterday, FDA head Margaret Hamburg said people could cut their personal risk of contracting salmonella by thoroughly cooking eggs and by avoiding cultivating “runny egg yolks for mopping up with toast”.
If an egg was cooked with a runny yolk, consumers were advised not to eat it.
About 1,300 people have contracted the food poisoning so far in the nationwide outbreak, though the number is expected to increase. The bug has been traced to one of two farms in Iowa, with about 550 million eggs being recalled by their distributors. The two plants share a common feed supplier. The recall could be extended as further farms are examined.
Hamburg also said that the FDA needed to be able to take a more “preventive approach” to food safety issues, rather than the current status quo where it adopted a reactive stance to potential food scares rather than being able to prevent them.
To put the scare in context, Americans consume about 47 billion shell eggs a year, as well as an additional number of egg-based products.