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Apr 19, 2009 11:53 AM

Are raw eggs still dangerous?

I buy free range, antibiotic free etc. I would like to make mayo or Caesar dressing with them but I still feel paranoid about raw eggs.

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  1. They never really were dangerous. Mass media induced hysteria is the source of these fears.

    3 Replies
    1. re: fmed

      I had a sense that was the case, but old habits die hard.

      1. re: Aimee

        Isn't the statistic something like 1 in 20,000 eggs contains salmonella? That's got to be less than the rate in the chickens sold for meat.

      2. re: fmed

        I don't know, I have read all things, but I'll be 50 and Mom always served them in caesar and milk shakes and still eat them today. I don't think twice. May not be the right thing, but ... I worry more about crossing my busy street then eating a raw egg these days. I do buy the most local date but honestly, just from the local store. I may be taking a chance but there is so much more out there to worry about that it isn't a concern. But I do try to buy a fresh date and use quickly.

        Hope that doesn't make me a bad person.

      3. I never stopped making mayo or eating my eggs lightly cooked. I buy free-range eggs directly from a local farmer, and I never worry about their quality.

        7 Replies
        1. re: pikawicca

          Same here. The only people who need to be cautious are the very young, very elderly and the autoimmune impaired. Then you might want to use pasteurized eggs that have an FDA seal of approval on them. I am studying the Safe-Serve course in anticipation of being certified for food handling in the shop. My text also says NOT to wash eggs prior to use and storage. Commercially produced eggs have been washed and sanitized at the packing facility

            1. re: Candy

              Why no washing of eggs? Sometimes the ones from the farmer's market have a little schmootz on them...seems wise to get rid of whatever that is before cracking the egg...

              I use raw/undercooked egg rather freely, but I buy local from known sources.

              pikawicca, I appreciate your candor downthread
              : )

              1. re: pitu

                water can weaken the shells, making them more permeable and thus susceptible to rot or adopting nearby odors.

                i like runny eggs, eat raw batter, home-made mayo, etc. i'm a thrill seeker.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  I wash just before cracking the shell

                2. re: pitu

                  Also if you crack an egg properly, you'll get none of the inside egg on the outside shell.

                  1. re: pitu

                    Note: my comment is about not washing commercially produced eggs. These are not farmer's market eggs.

              2. I worked for the egg industry for several years, got a full inside scoop. I eat eggs practically every day still, usually on the runny side. Yes, some eggs have salmonella in them. The chance of getting one of those lessens just slightly when you buy from local sources because the eggs are fresher (presumably) - fewer layers of handling from farmer to you. That said, large egg producers work just as hard at keeping flocks healthy, sanitized their processing areas, packaging, chilling and shipping cold. The older the egg, the longer bacteria has to flourish. Cold slows down bacteria growth. Heat kills it. So, buy COLD local eggs, keep 'em cold, eat 'em quickly -- if you make fresh mayo, keep it cold and eat it today.

                5 Replies
                1. re: pattilondre


                  Factory eggs? Not for me, thank you very much -- a totally corrupted product, IMO. They don't taste good, either!

                  1. re: pattilondre

                    If the local small farmer follows a program for washing and cooling his eggs and has regular testing done on his flock for Salmonella spp. then I'll agree with you. Unfortunately most small farmers cannot do these economically, so I would not say they are safer. They may taste better and if you have grown up on them you might have resistance to Salmonella spp., but don't say they are safer.

                    1. re: Bryn

                      Woah there - I'm not so sure people can develop resistance to certain bacteria. The bacteria themselves can often develop resistance to antibiotic medicine, but unless you're a Phd. I'd hesitate to make statements like that.

                      1. re: SQHD

                        I'd go along with the natural "flora and fauna" in an area but not true pathogens. When people get diarrhea in Mexico (I never have), it's not "food poisoning" (vague term) but just that there gut has its own *f&f* that's different from where they are and what they're eating. The only time I've had salmonella was from tainted peanut butter 2-1/2 years ago.

                        1. re: SQHD

                          Look at Raw milk. They tend to have a higher CFU/g infection rate than us city folks. I didn't say immunity I said resistance.

                    2. If raw cookie dough is in front of me, it will be eaten. But I like to live on the edge...

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