Reducing risk of raw-egg roulette in Australia

Australia still has a raw egg problem.

But at least some of the few remaining journalists are starting to pay attention.

Claudine Ryan of ABC Australia writes that lovers of aioli, chocolate mousse and tiramisu need to know these dishes can cause nasty food poisoning.

Mayonnaise was the source of salmonella bacteria responsible for a number of recent food poisoning outbreaks. In Brisbane, one woman died and hundreds more became ill garlic_aioliafter a Melbourne-cup day lunch, while another 140 people became ill after eating at a Canberra restaurant on Mother’s Day.

But this isn’t only an issue for restaurants or catering companies. Mayonnaise, tiramisu, mousse, and other dishes made with raw or minimally cooked eggs are now the most common cause of foodborne salmonella outbreaks in Australia, says Belinda Davies, a senior environmental health lecturer at Queensland University of Technology.

Davies says in part this is because more of us are getting the food safety messages related to handling raw chicken, such as not eating it undercooked, and making sure we don’t contaminate kitchen surfaces, utensils or uncooked food with bacteria present on raw chicken. As a result raw eggs are now responsible for a greater percentage of reported cases of salmonella-related food poisoning.