Volume 20, Number 7

The Bridge

       March, 2004

By Judy Nance, R.N.

Question: Can You Have a Mini stroke and not know it?

Answer: Yes, The symptoms of a mini stroke, also known as a transient ischemic attack, or TIA, last only a few minutes. They're also milder than the symptoms of a full-blown stroke, although similar in nature. They include numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body; vision problems; confusion; dizziness; or loss of balance/coordination. Tufts heart disease researcher likens a TIA to “angina of the brain.” With TIA's, there is cut-off blood supply to the brain. This should trigger a doctor's visit.

Question: Why is it safe to leave cake out if it contains eggs? I thought eggs had to be refrigerated within 2 hours to prevent bacterial growth.

Answer: Raw eggs have a high level of water activity, making them an ideal breeding ground for bacteria like Salmonella. Egg-containing baked goods, on the other hand, do not provide a moist enough environment for bacteria to multiply, which is why your cake can safely sit out on the counter. Note that while cooking eggs reduces their water activity, eggs remain moist in food like quiche and custard, so they do require refrigeration within 2 hours of cooking.

Information from Tufts University,” Health & Nutrition Letter”.

Oct. 2003 & Nov. 2003