BEWARE of rotten eggs! Buy eggs from reputable sources only

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The South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) is urging the public to only purchase eggs from reputable sources.

In a release today, SERHA said the Kingston and St Andrew Health Department has noted with concern reports that eggs that were improperly disposed over the weekend at the Riverton landfill are being scavenged by members of the public.

It said the consumption of unsafe eggs can result in food borne illnesses, including salmonellosis.

Symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhoea, fever and abdominal cramps. They develop 12 to 72 hours after infection, and the illness usually lasts for between four and seven days. Most people recover without treatment, but diarrhoea and dehydration may be so severe that it is necessary to seek treatment at hospital, SERHA said.

The 1998 Public Health (Food Handling) Regulation states that "high risk foods", such as eggs, requires the application and maintenance of specified temperatures at various stages of its preparation in order to ensure product safety.

In addition, perishable foods, including eggs, must be stored and refrigerated at a temperature not higher than 4.4 degrees celsius.

SERHA said the Health Department is working in collaboration with the police to locate and destroy the eggs.