2Eggs are a good source of protein, but it's important to store, handle and prepare them properly. Eggs are a good choice as part of a healthy, balanced diet. As well as being a source of protein, they also contain vitamins and minerals. They can be part of a healthy meal that's quick and easy to make.However, to avoid any risk of food poisoning, it's important to store, handle and cook eggs properly. This especially applies to vulnerable groups, including the very young, the unwell, pregnant women and elderlypeople.
3Eggs and your dietEggs are a good source of:proteinvitamin Dvitamin Avitamin B2IodineThere is no recommended limit on how many eggs people should eat. But to get the nutrients you need, make sure you eat as varied a diet as possible.
4Eggs and cholesterolEggs contain cholesterol, and high cholesterol levels in our blood increases our risk of heart disease.However, the cholesterol we get from food – including eggs – has less effect on the amount of cholesterol in our blood than the amount of saturated fat we eat.If your GP or health professional has told you to watch your cholesterol level, your priority should be to cut down on saturated fat.If you are eating a balanced diet, you only need to cut down on eggs if you have been told to by your GP or dietitian.
5Egg safetyEating raw eggs, eggs with runny yolks, or any food that is uncooked or only lightly cooked and contains raw eggs can cause food poisoning, especially in anyone who is in an ‘at risk’ group. These groups include:babies and toddlerselderly peoplepregnant womenpeople who are already unwellThis is because eggs may contain salmonella bacteria, which can cause serious illness.When eating raw or lightly cooked eggs, using pasteurised eggs minimises this risk, because the pasteurisation process kills salmonella.
6Pasteurisation is a heat treatment that uses high temperatures to kill bacteria. Most eggs you can buy in the shops are not pasteurised. Pasteurised eggs often come in liquid, dried or frozen form.If you are preparing food – especially food that won’t be cooked or will only be lightly cooked – for people who are in an ‘at risk’ group, you can choose pasteurised egg as the safest option.When using normal, unpasteurised eggs, bear in mind the importance of:storing eggs safelyavoiding the spread of bacteria from eggs to other foods, utensils or work surfacescooking eggs properly – ensuring both white and yolk are solid will kill any bacteriaPeople who are not in vulnerable groups who eat soft-boiled eggs or foods containing lightly cooked eggs should not experience any health problems, but cooking eggs thoroughly is the safest option if you are concerned about food poisoning.
7Foods containing raw eggs Foods that are made with raw eggs and then not cooked, or only lightly cooked, can cause food poisoning. This is because any bacteria in the eggs won't be killed.Any of the following might contain raw eggs:homemade mayonnaisehollandaise and Béarnaise saucessalad dressingsice creamicingmousseTiramisu
8If you are making these foods yourself, using pasteurised eggs is the safest choice. Most commercially produced mayonnaise, salad dressings, sauces, ice cream, desserts or ready-made icing are made with pasteurised eggs.Check the label, or contact the manufacturer if you are unclear whether the food was made with pasteurised eggs.If you're concerned about raw egg when eating out or buying food, ask the person serving you.
9Storing eggs safelyStoring eggs safely helps to make sure the bacteria from the eggs and eggshells do not spread.Here are some tips to help you store your eggs safely:Store eggs in a cool, dry place, ideally in the fridge.Store eggs away from other foods. It's a good idea to use your fridge's egg tray, if you have one, because this helps to keep eggs separate.Eat dishes containing eggs as soon as possible after you've prepared them. If you're not planning to eat them straight away, cool them quickly and then keep them in the fridge for up to two days.Cakes can safely be stored somewhere cool and dry as long as they don’t contain any additions such as custard or cream.
10Avoiding the spread of bacteria Bacteria can spread very easily from eggs to other foods, as well as hands, utensils and worktops.There can be bacteria on the eggshell as well as inside the egg, so take care when handling them.These tips can help avoid the spread of bacteria:Keep eggs away from other foods, both when they are in the shell and after you have cracked them.Be careful not to splash egg onto other foods, worktops or dishes.Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly after touching eggs or working with them.Clean surfaces, dishes and utensils thoroughly, using warm soapy water, after working with eggs.Don't use eggs with damaged shells, because dirt or bacteria might have got inside them.
11'Best before' dates of eggs Eggs can be eaten a day or two after their ‘best before’ date as long as they are cooked thoroughly until both yolk and white are solid, or if they are used in dishes where they will be fully cooked such as a cake.Cook eggs until both the white and yolk are solid will kill any bacteria, such as salmonella.People who are in ‘at-risk’ groups should only eat eggs, or food containing eggs, that have been thoroughly cooked.
13Emulsifying AgentsAn emulsion is a mixture that forms when you combine liquids that do not ordinarily mixTo keep the liquids from separating you need an emulsifying agentEgg yolk is an excellent emulsifying agent. The yolk surrounds the oil droplets to keep them suspended
14Foams – Incorporating Air Foams are used to add air to foodsWhen you beat air into egg whites, many air cells formAs the beating continues, the cells become smaller and more numerous as a result the foam thickensFoams – Incorporating Air
18Thickener Heat causes egg proteins to thicken (coagulate) Because of this property eggs are used to thicken foods such as sauces, custards, and puddings
19Binding Agent Eggs act to hold ingredients together Meatloaf is an example of eggs used in this way
20Interfering AgentFrozen desserts like ice cream stay creamy because eggs inhibit the formation of large ice crystals which would ruin the texture of the dessert
21StructureEggs form the structure of many baked goods.
22CoatingEggs are used to help a coating adhere to a food
23NutrientsEggs are a nutrient dense food and contain essential amino acids as well as many vitamins and minerals.They are quick and easy to prepare for a nutritious meal or contribute nutrients to food products.
27Hard-BoiledHard-boiled eggs are delicious and are very popular around Easter. They are boiled in a pot on the stove for about 20 minutes. After they have cooled, the shells can be broken and peeled off so you can eat your delicious hard-boiled egg.Sunny-Side UpMany people like to eat their eggs sunny-side up. This can be done by gently cooking the egg over the stove without breaking the yolk. Some people like their egg flipped while others prefer a real runny yolk, hence the name sunny-side up.
28ScrambledScrambled eggs are great and loved by many kids. Simply break a few eggs into a bowl and stir them until the yolk is broken and they are well blended. Then, cook the eggs on the stove being sure to stir them often.OmeletAn omelet is a very filling way to eat an egg. Cook an omelet similar to a scrambled egg but don't break the egg apart. Fill the omelet with mushrooms, ham, cheese or bacon and roll the omelet up.Soft-BoiledSoft-boiled eggs are great to eat for breakfast and very quick to make. Boil them in a pot of water for 3-5 minutes. Carefully take the hot egg out of the water and crack the top part of the shell and eat using a spoon.
30NutrientBenefitIronCarries oxygen to the cells, helps prevent anemia – the iron in eggs is easily absorbed by the bodyVitamin AHelps maintain healthy skin and eye tissue; assists in night visionVitamin DStrengthens bones and teeth; may help protect against certain cancers and auto-immune diseases.Vitamin EAn antioxidant that plays a role in maintaining good health and preventing diseaseVitamin B12Helps protect against heart diseaseFolateHelps produce and maintain new cells; helps prevent a type of anemia, helps protect against serious birth defects if taken prior to pregnancy and during the first 3 months of pregnancyProteinEssential for building and repairing muscles, organs, skin, hair and other body tissues; needed to produce hormones, enzymes and antibodies; the protein in eggs is easily absorbed by the bodySeleniumWorks with vitamin E to act as an antioxidant to help prevent the breakdown of body tissuesLutein and zeaxanthinMaintains good vision; may help reduce the risk of age-related eye diseases, such as cataracts and macular degenerationCholinePlays a strong role in brain development and function