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Advice Issued on the Safe Consumption of Duck Eggs

Thursday, 04 August 2022

Duck eggs are available on the Irish retail market and are used by some people as alternatives to hen’s eggs in cooking and baking. Producers are responsible for ensuring the safety of food placed on the market. From time-to-time incidents involving duck eggs arise where Salmonella is identified, therefore duck eggs should always be handled and cooked with great care. Salmonella can cause serious illness, particularly in vulnerable people.

The FSAI advises to only consume duck eggs that have been thoroughly cooked, and to avoid using raw duck eggs in any dishes that will not be cooked thoroughly prior to eating. Maintaining stringent hygiene practices is important when handling raw duck eggs, such as washing hands and preparation surfaces after handling or using duck eggs.

 Specifically, it is advised that:

  • Duck eggs should not be eaten raw or lightly cooked.
  • Only eat duck eggs that have been thoroughly cooked, until both the white and yolk are solid. A duck egg is heavier and larger than a hen’s egg, and therefore needs more cooking time.
  • Dishes that contain duck eggs should be cooked until they are piping hot all the way through.
  • Do not use raw duck eggs in the preparation of products that contain raw or lightly cooked egg, such as homemade mayonnaise, tiramisu, icing, hollandaise sauce.
  • When using duck eggs in cooking or baking, do not eat or taste the raw mix.
  • After handling raw duck eggs, always wash hands thoroughly.
  • Ensure all utensils and preparation surfaces that have been in contact with raw duck eggs are washed thoroughly before being re-used.
  • Store duck eggs in the fridge away from ready-to-eat food.

(Image source: “Duck Eggs” (CC BY 2.0) by eekim)