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Since eggnog is made with eggs, special precautions need to be taken to prevent your
guests from becoming sick from a foodborne illness during the holidays. By following
these guidelines, you can enjoy this holiday drink safely.
Nashville, Ark. – Chances are you have attended at least one holiday party this season.
You will probably be attending several more. One of the favorites at holiday parties
is eggnog. Traditional eggnog is made by combining raw eggs with milk or cream, sugar,
flavorings and perhaps alcohol. Since eggnog is made with eggs, special precautions
need to be taken to prevent your guests from becoming sick from a foodborne illness
during the holidays.
Homemade eggnog, a tradition in many families during the holiday season,
can cause a foodborne illness from the bacteria Salmonella, which may be found in
raw or undercooked eggs. Eggs are a standard ingredient in most homemade eggnog recipes,
giving the beverage its characteristic frothy texture. By following these guidelines,
you can enjoy this holiday drink safely.
If you have a favorite family recipe that calls for uncooked eggs, simply
substitute the eggs with a pasteurized egg product. These products are found in the
egg case. There are several options on the market including whole eggs out-of-the-shell
or low-cholesterol egg white products. These items differ from traditional eggs-in-the-carton.
They are eggs which have been heated thoroughly to kill any potential bacteria.
If you want to use raw eggs, you must cook the egg base to ensure the
safety of the eggnog. It is easy to do and does not change the flavor or texture of
Begin by combine the eggs and half the milk as indicated in the recipe
in a saucepan. You may also add the sugar. Cook the mixture gently and at a low temperature
until the internal temperature of the mixture reaches 160ºF. Stir constantly throughout
this process. Otherwise you will end up with scrambled eggs!
Cooking eggs to 160ºF will destroy Salmonella, if present. Use a food
thermometer to test the temperature of the mixture, or until the mixture firmly coats
a metal spoon. Once cooked, chill the mixture before adding the rest of the milk and
other ingredients. You can add your favorite spices before serving.
Eggnog can be enjoyed as is without added ingredients. However, some people
like to add rum, whiskey, or other alcohol to the recipe. There is a misconception
that adding alcohol will kill any bacteria that may be in the raw eggs. This is not
Be aware, there are a lot of calories in eggnog. When you add alcohol,
you add calories. Just 1.5 ounces of rum adds 97 extra calories! Without alcohol,
eggnog has 180 calories with 80 of them coming from fat in just a half cup serving.
That’s a 4 ounce serving! Much of the fat in eggnog is saturated and can easily add
up to the 25 percent of the recommended daily allowance for saturated fat intake.
Even “light” eggnog can still provide up to 110 calories per serving. So, be aware
of how much you are drinking and limit the amount you drink.
On top of the fat calories found in eggnog, there is also a lot of sugar
in the store bought varieties. They can have up to 4 or 5 teaspoons of sugar in a
4 oz. serving.
So what’s the bottom line? Buy commercially prepared eggnog if you don’t
want to make it from scratch. If you do want to make from scratch, make sure you prepare
it properly to destroy any Salmonella that may be present. Look for lower fat and
lower sugar versions of eggnog, and limit the amount you drink.
A final thought…raw eggs have the potential to carry Salmonella bacteria.
Do not eat or taste of any product that has raw eggs in it, including raw cookie dough!
For more information on food safety during the holidays, contact the Howard
County Extension Service at 870-845-7517 or visit our office located on the second
floor of the courthouse. You can also check out the website, www.foodsafety.gov for more information.
Here is a great alternative to eggnog as a beverage for the holidays.
This recipe makes 3 ½ quarts, enough for any holiday party.
2 (32 ounce) bottles cranberry juice cocktail, chilled
1 ½ cups lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
2 (16 ounce) bottles orange soda, chilled
Ice or ice ring
1 orange, sliced
Whole cloves and cranberries (optional)
In a large punch bowl, combine cranberry juice, lemon juice, and sugar.
Stir until sugar dissolves. Just before serving, add orange soda and ice or ice ring.
Garnish with orange slices decorated with cloves and whole cranberries, if desired.
By Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff Chair U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service 421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 email@example.com
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