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May 29, 2017

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As bird flu threat rises, pass on the eggs Benedict

Health authorities are urging residents not to consume raw or undercooked eggs, as the avian flu threat in Taiwan continues to rise.

Though eggnog season may have passed, raw eggs are prevalent in a variety of foods we regularly consume, such as the dipping sauces we make for hot pot.

Chiayi City's Department of Health says eggs from poultry must be thoroughly cooked to minimize the risk of avian flu infection. This includes soft-boiled eggs, eggs Benedict and other food items that contain mayonnaise. Watch out also for desserts such as tiramisu.

Avian flu bacteria are destroyed at higher temperatures, so make sure to heat up eggs to at least 70 degrees Celsius. Also wash your hands immediately with soap after handling eggshells, taking extra care not to touch your mouth or nose before doing so.

Authorities are also advising residents to maintain basic hygiene, cook poultry items thoroughly at higher temperatures and to don surgical masks and see a doctor if they develop a fever.

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