An Italian dessert made with raw eggs is at the centre of new concerns about food hygiene after three customers at a Holborn restaurant ended up in hospital with salmonella poisoning.
Eight others also suffered from the infection after eating the dish, tiramisu, which has enjoyed a boom in popularity recently. The restaurant could face prosecution.
The dish - made from mascarpone cheese, eggs, cream, coffee, marsala wine, biscuits, sugar and coffee powder - had already been connected with salmonella poisoning.
In 1992, there were five such outbreaks in Britain. In one case, 44 people were affected; in another, 31.
Environmental health officers in Camden yesterday warned that although fears over salmonella poisoning years ago had been exaggerated, that was no reason to stop being careful.
'Now it is summer people look forward to mayonnaise on their salads and delicious desserts like tiramisu, but if raw eggs are contaminated with salmonella you could become unpleasantly ill, said Paulette Brown, one of the officers.
Restaurateurs have improved standards since the original scares. But there are still concerns about several foods including quiche, scrambled egg and sandwich fillings, where raw or lightly cooked egg is used as a binder - especially in summer when bacteria multiply more quickly.
The proportion of eggs
infected by salmonella is
unknown. The Department of Health says 'everyone should avoid eating raw eggs or uncooked dishes made from them . . . However, for healthy people, there is little risk from eating eggs which are cooked.
For those who do not wish to give up tiramisu, the advice is to ensure that it is made not with raw egg but with pasteurised, frozen or dried versions.
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