Be careful while cooking eggs! Otherwise you may get very sick, ‘Salmonella bacteria’ spread in Spain3 min read
New Delhi: A restaurant in Madrid known for its egg tortilla (an omelette-like recipe) has temporarily closed following an outbreak of salmonella (stomach, fever, abdominal pain) – sparking a debate Here’s how the iconic Spanish dish should be cooked and how thin it should be. The tortilla usually contains a mixture of fried potatoes and eggs, often with onions, and is one of the most widely eaten foods in Spain. Madrid’s ‘Casa Dani’ restaurant is very famous for its egg tortilla. The restaurant has been temporarily closed after at least 59 people complained of food poisoning after eating tortillas here last week. According to the Health Department of Madrid, 6 people who ate egg tortillas have been admitted to the hospital.
‘Casa Dani’ says that we are cooperating with the local health authorities to ensure that our kitchen is free of Salmonella bacteria and that the restaurant can reopen soon. The restaurant has won several awards, including the 2019 Spanish Potato Tortilla Championship, and has also been featured in Netflix’s food series Somebody Feed Fill. It serves approximately 100,000 tortillas each year. Following the salmonella outbreak, the Madrid health department is investigating how restaurants, including Casa Dani, prepare their tortillas, and whether they meet conditions regarding the use of eggs. For the past three decades, Spain has had a rule that eggs served to the public must be either pasteurized or, if fresh, cooked to a temperature of at least 75 °C.
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In December 2022, a government decree loosened those rules, requiring fresh eggs to be cooked ‘at 70C or slightly higher for 2 minutes’ or ’63C for 20 minutes’ Needed. These temperatures are important: the egg white sets at around 62-65C and the egg yolk sets at 65-70C. Alfredo Garcia, owner of the Silkar restaurant in Madrid, which specializes in the dish, told the BBC: ‘We put a thermometer in the tortilla, and leave it to cook at 70 degrees for about 2 minutes. At this temperature all bacteria die. This egg remains loose at 70 degrees. Maria del Toro of the La Rioja Center for Biomedical Research (CIBIR) told La Cope radio station that ‘we all need a runny tortilla’ [बहता हुआ टॉर्टिला] Like, but it has more risk, especially for children, pregnant women and the elderly.
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The regional government of Madrid has also given its own advice on the matter, warning that summer weather in particular is favorable for Salmonella bacteria in tortillas. This occurs when fresh eggs are used in making tortillas, the center of the tortilla is not set and the cooked tortilla is left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Madrid’s health department also recommends using pasteurized eggs as opposed to fresh eggs in the tortilla. However, Garcia said that 90% of customers at his Silker restaurant prefer a runny tortilla with fresh eggs. However, he admits that the Casa Dani case has warned restaurants to make sure the tortillas are cooked more than usual.
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Tags: health, health news, Spain
FIRST PUBLISHED : February 05, 2023, 08:24 IST