Be Wary of Eggnog

Enjoying holiday foods safely can be a minefield for people with blood sugar concerns. We share so many wonderful, healthier recipes to allow you to enjoy the tasty flavors of the season without upsetting your blood sugar. However, there can be other dangers we don’t think of.

This week, we shared a couple of eggnog-flavored treats. It’s a beloved drink of the winter season. From Thanksgiving to New Year, we love it! And it can be made with alternative sweeteners, so it doesn’t derail your day.

But, food safety experts warn that homemade eggnog can have dangers beyond its high sugar content. They worry that it can be “teeming with pathogens.”

Raw eggs are the biggest risk because you have a danger of getting salmonella,” said Bill Marler, a food safety litigator.

Milk, cream and eggs left at room temperature in a punch bowl could grow listeria, e. coli and campylobacter. Dr. Mildred Cody, a registered dietician nutritionist and food safety instructor emerita at Georgia State Univ., said, “Don’t count on alcohol in eggnog to kill all of the bacteria. That’s not likely to happen.” Instead, ensure all your ingredients are pasteurized and kept cold for the safest homemade nog.

Most eggs in [an American] grocery store are not pasteurized,” said Elisa Maloberti, the American Egg Board’s manager of food safety. “Pasteurized eggs will be clearly marked on the package.”  

Packaged prepared eggnog is much safer,” said Dr. Don Schaffner of Rutgers Univ. “The pasteurization process is done by a food manufacturing facility that understands how to best process foods to ensure that they are safe.”

Instead of using a punchbowl at your party, keep it in the fridge after you make it and serve it one glass at a time. Plus, if it’s store-bought and in the fridge, none of your guests will see the carton, and you can claim it’s homemade if you want! Serving it from the refrigerator isn’t as pretty as a punchbowl, but it’s worth it to stay healthy!

If you see a “light” eggnog in the store, read the label. The product is often lighter in calories than regular eggnog but just as high in sugar. While it’s a good source of protein and calcium, it can be high in fat and calories depending on your recipe or the brand you buy so it’s important to be mindful of serving sizes.

We’re huge fans of eggnog! We’re also massive fans of staying safe. So, ensure all your ingredients are pasteurized and stay cold if you make eggnog at home. Or, save yourself some time, energy and worry and buy it at the store!    

Banner image: Jill Wellington via Pexels

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