Is It Safe To Eat Raw Eggs?

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  • Some people add raw eggs into their smoothies and oats for protein boost
  • Eggs can get contaminated by salmonella
  • In severe cases, salmonella infection may require hospitalization

Homemade ice cream, eggnog and Caesar salad dressing are just some foods that use raw or undercooked eggs. There are also people who consume raw eggs; adding them into their smoothies and oats for protein boost. But is it safe to eat raw eggs?

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Despite the popularity of raw eggs, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not recommend eating unpasteurized raw eggs because they may contain bacteria that can make people ill.

Eggs can get contaminated by salmonella if they are from a hen infected with the bacteria, or because eggs were placed in a dirty environment already contaminated with salmonella.

Contracting salmonella is not usually fatal, but it is a serious condition that may cause diarrhea. In severe cases, salmonella infection may require hospitalization. Pregnant women, infants and individuals with a compromised immune system in particular should avoid food that uses raw eggs as an ingredient.

Experts recommend cooking egg because this kills the lingering bacteria. Does this mean you should stop consuming foods that use raw eggs?

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You may actually use pasteurized eggs if you are making a dish that requires raw eggs. The USDA and the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that people can eat in-shell pasteurized eggs without cooking them. Pasteurized eggs have been treated to kill bacteria.

“Make sure that foods that contain raw or lightly cooked eggs, such as hollandaise sauce, Caesar salad dressing, and tiramisu, are made only with pasteurized eggs,” the CDC said.

When buying eggs, look for pasteurized egg products with the USDA inspection mark. You should also see to it that the containers of the eggs are tightly sealed. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that pasteurized eggs be kept in the refrigerator.