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DOH, BAI warn vs. consuming frozen eggs

Consumption of frozen eggs that are being sold in some markets could lead to food poisoning as they could be infected with Salmonella and E. coli bacteria, according to the Department of Health (DOH) and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).

In a statement, DOH urged the public to employ the right food handling practices to prevent food contamination, following reports that some consumers prefer buying frozen eggs because they are cheaper.

“Frozen eggs can be a source of contamination and eventually cause food poisoning since raw foods are suitable for the growth of Salmonella bacterium and Escherichia coli (abbreviated as E. coli),” the DOH said.

“These bacteria are known to cause infection, diarrhea (which can be severe and bloody), stomach pains, fever, nausea and vomiting,” it added.

According to a report on "24 Oras," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire urged the public to instead buy fresh eggs instead of cracked or frozen ones.

"‘Yung mga na-freeze na itlog ay maaaring makasama sa inyong health. Hindi po natin sinasabi na lahat ay magkakaroon ng kontaminasyon pero yung probabilidad at yung risk para kayo ay magkasakit, dahil nacontaminate yung itlog through this freezing process, ay maari pong harm,” she said.

Meanwhile, BAI spokesperson Arlene Vytiaco said the Philippine National Standards on table eggs showed that cracked eggs are not safe for human consumption.

“Sa surface ng shell, puwedeng may bacteria na pwedeng pumasok sa loob if the shells are cracked,” she said in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB.

(Bacteria from the surface of the shell may get inside if the shells are cracked.)

“Ang number one na bacteria talaga dito [the number one bacteria that may be gotten from this] is salmonella  which causes typhoid fever, etc.,” she added.

Vytiaco said they will coordinate with DOH to address the matter.

When buying eggs, DOH said consumers should examine the commodity first and ensure that it is clean, has no visible cracks, no drooping egg whites, and no foul or awful smell. The eggs should also be thoroughly cooked before served for consumption.

At the Mega Q Mart in Quezon City, frozen eggs are being sold at P55 per kilo, according to a report by James Agustin on Unang Balita on Monday.

The eggs, which are taken out of their shells ,are placed in a plastic bag and kept in a freezer.

The Philippine Egg Board Association (PEBA) had also discouraged buying frozen eggs as these are not according to standards. —With a report from Sherylin Untalan/KBK, GMA Integrated News

Tags: DOH, bai, news, Frozen eggs