Consumers warned against buying frozen eggs

THE Philippine Egg Board Association on Monday warned the public against buying frozen eggs.

The association's president, Irwin Ambal, said eating frozen eggs could trigger bacterial infections such as salmonella.

“Normally, poultry farmers put together all the cracked eggs; they remove the shell and place them in one plastic or container. Bakeshops use the frozen eggs, but we are discouraging their use as it is not the standard,” Ambal said in a radio interview.

He said consumers are enticed to buy frozen eggs because they are cheaper than fresh eggs.

“Many buy frozen eggs because of the hard times. It is dangerous because of the presence of bacteria,” Ambal added.

Frozen eggs sell at P55 to P60 a kilo; a tray of medium-sized eggs costs P270.

“We advise that frozen eggs should be properly cooked to kill the bacteria or viruses but the government does not allow it, as there is a scientific basis that cracked eggs are not safe for human consumption,” Ambal said.

Fresh eggs should be refrigerated or consumed within one week if stored at normal temperature and in a dry place, he suggested.

“We do not suggest its use as even the regular eggs should be refrigerated. You need to cook the eggs immediately once removed from the cold chain to prevent the possible spread of salmonella,” Ambal said.

He said the retail price of eggs continues to rise, but the farmgate price remains stable at P7 per piece.

“Our farmgate price is still P7 for 56 to 60 grams sized eggs. We have a shortage in the supply, but this does not happen overnight,” Ambal said.

He said that as early as 2022, he warned that many egg producers were forced to stop their operations because of steep feeds prices.

“After that, chicken layers were hit by the avian influenza. We hope breeder farms will not be affected by the bird flu, as it will take one year for them to recover,” Ambal said.

Breeder farms supply chicks that are raised as chicken layers.

He urged the government to address the high cost of feeds to encourage poultry raisers to resume their business.

“From 2019 to 2020, a kilo of corn only costs between P15 and P16 per kilo, but now it is averaging P24 per kilo. The jump is more than 50 percent in just the span of two years,” Ambal said.

The retail price of yellow corn, the main feeds for chickens, also remains high despite the harvest season.

“We are puzzled why the retail price did not go down despite its harvest season. By April, all the stocks are in the hands of the traders, just like what is happening in the supply of onions,” he noted.

Poultry raisers are forced to buy imported corn because it is cheaper, he said.

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