Is It Safe To Eat Raw Eggs? Here's What You Should Know

Between sauces like aioli and hollandaise, desserts like chocolate mousse and tiramisu, and workout diets of action legends like Rocky himself, the consumption of raw eggs is more prevalent than one might think. Eating eggs raw certainly can be more efficient than cooking them, but — just as with all uncooked ingredients — eating or preparing food that uses raw eggs can carry some risks. It's important to know what eggs to use and how in order to not only avoid sickness, but to also reap the raw rewards.

The primary concern with consumption of raw eggs, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), comes from a bacteria called salmonella that is found in uncooked meats (like chicken) and inside and on the shells of eggs. If eggs infected with salmonella are consumed directly or used in other dishes the risk of infection in people is high, and to sometimes devastating effect. The Cleveland Clinic states that salmonella infection is one of the most common types of food poisoning, and the effects can be very dangerous to certain at-risk individuals. If serious symptoms such as vomiting, high fever, and diarrhea persist for more than four days after consumption the infected should seek immediate medical treatment.

The sunny side of eating raw eggs

Despite the potential for catastrophe, there are still ways to safely and confidently enjoy raw eggs and the recipes that call for them. The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) primary tip is to buy pasteurized eggs and egg products if you intend to consume the ingredient raw. Pasteurization is a process that heats up an egg to a temperature that is high enough to kill harmful bacteria like salmonella without cooking it. Other notable tips include checking for cracked or unclean shells upon purchasing, properly refrigerating your eggs to ensure that they stay as fresh as possible for as long as possible, and keeping track of expiration dates.

Beyond looking at downsides and preventative measures to ensure the safety of raw egg consumption, it's also worth looking at some of the upsides. On top of the aforementioned delicious recipes that contain raw egg, there are many health benefits. Per WebMD and Healthline all eggs are an incredibly nutritious food source. They contain a particularly high dose of protein and micronutrients, specifically choline; studies have shown that choline could make your heart beat a little cleaner and help your brain work more efficiently. So while it pays to be cautious, it is safe to eat raw eggs if you do so correctly.