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Nov 12, 2013 09:16 PM

Eating raw eggs

This occurred to me while watching yet another food competition show. Often on Top Chef, Chopped, MasterChef etc. the judges chastise the chef/contestant for serving them an undercooked egg. I can't remember if it was Gordon Ramsey or one of the Chopped judges (probably both) who asked if the cook was trying to kill them by serving them raw/undercooked egg.

I may be wrong but I'm pretty sure it's ok to eat raw egg. I love a raw yolk in my tartare, a soft egg in my ramen. I'm pretty sure athletic types put a raw egg in some protein drinks. I also believe that raw egg whites are used in some cocktails for froth and there's a version of chocolate mousse that uses egg whites instead of cream.

So are these judges just freaking out for drama or is it really dangerous to eat raw egg?

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  1. Here's a link to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service sheet on eggs:

    Regardless, I like my yolks runny.

    1. From what I recall, there is the potential for bacteria, particularly salmonella, to be on eggshells. If you use pasteurized eggs, which kills any potential harmful bacteria on the eggshell, then no problem. If you can get the egg out of the shell without it touching the outer shell -- a feat much easier said than done in my experience -- then also no problem. Otherwise serving a raw/undercooked egg does run the risk of consuming some of that bacteria. From what I understand, the actual likelihood of the average healthy adult getting sick is pretty small.

        1. There have been some well-documented cases in the US of people getting sick from the salmonella bacteria on eggs from certain large Mid-West egg farms due to the unsanitary conditions in which the hens were kept.

          I still eat raw eggs on occasion, although I do take some minimal precautions. I only do this with eggs from smaller, local growers, and I don't do it often.

          1. <I may be wrong but I'm pretty sure it's ok to eat raw egg>

            Far from it, eating raw eggs can be dangerous. That being said, it isn't like I have eaten raw egg.

            <is it really dangerous to eat raw egg?>

            Given today's medicine and technology, you will unlikely to die from it, but you can get sick.