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Use caution when making eggnog; heat raw eggs first

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The Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service has been receiving many questions about the articles and recipes for using raw eggs in making eggnog that has been printed in the media.

I am sharing the following item to inform my readers of the dangers of consuming raw eggs and to help you adjust your favorite eggnog recipes to be safe.   

Happy, healthy holidays

Since colonial times, eggnog has been a favorite part of the holidays for many Ameri-cans.  George Wash-ington is said to have had his own secret recipe for the treat. However, consumers need to keep in mind that salmonella is a concern when consuming homemade eggnog. Eggnog made with raw or partially cooked eggs may be unsafe. In order to destroy salmonella bacteria, the egg mixture must be heated to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Most commercially sold eggnog is pasteurized by heating to 160 degrees Fahrenheit or above, but it is smart to check the label to be sure. 

If consumers prefer to make their own eggnog, any eggnog recipe can be made safe by combining the eggs and half of the milk indicated in the recipe, and cooking this mixture gently to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.  The mixture must be stirred constantly during this process to prevent lumps from forming and to prevent scorching. Other ingredients, such as sugar, may be added during this step.  A cooking thermometer should be used to assure that the mixture reaches the proper temperature.  The end of the thermometer should be submerged in the liquid and not touching the side or bottom of the pan.

When the mixture reaches 160 degrees, it will coat a metal spoon.  At this point, the mixture may be removed from the heat and chilled. The rest of the milk and remaining ingredients may be added just before serving.

Pasteurized eggs may be substituted for raw eggs in an eggnog recipe.  Pasteurized eggs have already been heated to destroy salmonella bacteria. They are available in some supermarkets for a slightly higher cost than raw eggs. However, both the FDA and the USDA recommend cooking the egg mixture for optimal safety, even if using pasteurized eggs. 

Consumers may learn more about the preparation and storage of eggnog by visiting the FSIS web site, www.fsis.usda.gov, or calling the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, 1-888-674-6854.  

Sources:  United States Department of Agriculture, http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Script_Holiday_Eggnog/index.asp, and

http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/eggnog.html 

I hope this helps make your holidays safer and merrier.

Legislative breakfast

The Carroll County Extension Service held our first Legislative Breakfast yesterday morning. We would like to thank our government officials who took time to be with us and of course, our Extension Council members for helping make it happen. We thank Joe Williams from the governor’s office of the state of Kentucky, Sen. Ernie Harris, Carroll County Magistrates Mark Bates and Floyd Bowling and Mayor Gene McMurry for attending.

We greatly appreciate the great support given to the Cooperative Extension Service by our government officials.

We would also like to thank our Extension Council leaders for being with us. Ma Tiller really cooked us a good country breakfast with all the trimmings. What a treat just before the holidays.

 

Grace Angotti is Carroll Co. Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. Call her at (502) 732-7030 or send e-mail to gangotti@uky.edu.