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Cooking and health tips on using eggs

I suppose aking any raw egg product is always risky from a food hygiene point of view and really depends on a number of factors:

  • Where in the world you are - in New Zealand, for example, we have little problem with food poisoning from eggs because of the strict control measures and hygiene of the farms
  • The reliability of the supplier (see above)
  • Your climate - the warmer the climate the more chance of problems
  • The freshness of the egg
  • How the egg has been stored at home - always store them in the fridge, never at room temperature
  • However, the eggs are best left at room temperature for 30 - 60 minutes prior to use for any baking purposes
  • Store away from any strong smelling foods and raw meats and fish (the top shelf is best or the special storage rack if the fridge has one)
  • Do not think of the egg shell as a solid object but as a sponge as it is very porous and will absorb any strong odours and bacteria from foods they are left in contact with or near
  • When making mayonnaise only make as much as is required and store any left over in a sealed container in the fridge for no more than three days

How can you tell if an egg is fresh or not?

  • Look for the use by date - it should have at least 3 weeks left . . . 5 weeks means they are really fresh and straight from the farm . . . the eggs I use in New Zealand are delivered on a Tuesday after being laid at the weekend. They don't come much fresher than that!
  • When you break them open a fresh egg's yolk will stand tall and the white will be tight, with very little secondary white (this is the really runny part of the white). If you boil it the yolk will be central. If you were to fry it the egg will stay compact and nicely shaped.
  • As the egg gets staler/older the white will break down and become more liquid and the yolk will start to flatten and spread out as well. If you boil it the yolk will be off centre. If you were to fry it the egg will stay fairly compact but the white will start to spread out.
  • A stale egg (3 - 4 weeks after being laid) will have little or no tight white and will be totally secondary white. If you boil it the yolk will be touching if not breaking the surface of the white. If you try and fry these they will run all over the pan . . . so if this sounds like your fried eggs . . . you have been buying or the store is selling stale eggs!

Look for more tips on eggs in coming weeks!



Food and Cooking Tips
from professional
Chef Tallyrand


Born and raised in Plymouth, Tallyrand started his initial training as a chef at Plymouth College of Further Education. It was here that he was to learn his love, his passion for food and the culinary arts. From here he headed to Germany to complete his apprenticeship as Commis de Gardemanger.

Germany gave him his first taste of cooking for the rich and famous, as half way through his first year, along with the Sous Chef and a Chef de Partie, he was whisked off to Cologne to help prepare meals for a political conference, where amongst other dignitaries they cooked for Mr Brehznev, the then powerful Russian leader. This was to prove to be just one of the many celebrities he was to cook for or get to know over the years . . .

If you would like to find out more why not visit Tallyrand's own web site (link in main menu)

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