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The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) advises consumers to keep eggs in refrigerators as this will help to keep the eggs fresh for longer.

Eggs may contain salmonella bacteria, which is a common cause of food poisoning. The bacteria is also found in raw meat, poultry, raw unwashed vegetables, unpasteurised milk and dairy products. It can also be found in the gut and faeces of animals and humans.

Salmonella can be transmitted to humans when they consume eggs contaminated by the bacteria in chicken droppings. The bacteria penetrate the egg through cracks in the shell. With salmonella, which causes food-borne illnesses, it takes 12 to 48 hours for symptoms to develop. The symptoms include fever, diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

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handling eggs
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The AVA advises consumers to adopt good food safety practices, such as separating raw food – including eggs – from cooked or ready-to-eat food, since raw food may contain micro-organisms that can cause food poisoning.

Another tip is to wash hands, utensils and surfaces thoroughly after handling raw food, before coming into contact with cooked and ready-to-eat food.

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Egg yolk
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As part of the AVA’s routine surveillance programme, food – including eggs – is subjected to regular inspections and sampling to ensure compliance with food safety standards and requirements.

The tests cover a wide range of chemical and microbiological contaminants, such as pesticide residue, drug residue- for example, antibiotics and hormones – and microbial hazards like salmonella.

Food products found to be unsafe will not be allowed for sale.

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eggs in carton
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Always keep your eggs in the refrigerator at home; it is best if you keep them in the main compartment of the fridge and not the fridge door compartment to ensure consistent temperature.

If you are storing leftover raw egg yolks or egg whites, seal them in airtight containers and always keep in the fridge at all times until you use them.

It is also recommended that you use the original egg cartons when storing eggs as they help the eggs avoid absorbing odours or flavours from the other foods in the fridge.

Text: Kenneth Goh/The Straits Times / Additional Reporting: Sean Tan

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