Are American eggs safe to eat raw?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question, “Are American eggs safe to eat raw?”. We will discuss the risks of eating American eggs raw. We will also look at how American eggs are treated along with the correct storage conditions.

Are American eggs safe to eat raw?

Yes, American eggs are generally safe to eat raw. All American eggs are washed and pasteurized. However, these cleaning methods will not completely reduce the risk of ingesting salmonella bacteria. Daily intake of raw eggs is always risky, even if the eggs have been adequately pasteurized and the cook has taken all essential safeguards.

How are American eggs treated?

Raw shell eggs must be washed before being sold, according to the USDA. Most large-volume processors employ a sanitizing wash at the processing plant after being rinsed in warm water and dried (washing is a must for all USDA-graded eggs). To prevent the eggs from drying out, many processors put a small layer of food-grade mineral oil on them.

Large-scale egg-laying buildings are favored in the United States over the free-range practices adopted in Europe.  Even with appropriate sanitary practices, the factory-farm environment allows for more eggs to be produced in a smaller space, but it also renders eggs more vulnerable to salmonella contamination. 

The bacteria could be transmitted from infected hens to the interior of the developing eggs, or they can get on the exterior of the shells after the eggs have been laid by having contact with the hen’s excrement.

Consumers should keep eggs refrigerated at 40 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid bacterial infection, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What are the risks of eating American eggs raw?

Salmonella infection

Salmonellosis is a bacterial illness that produces diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. Symptoms normally last 4 to 7 days, and most patients recover without therapy. However, some patients have severe diarrhea that needs hospitalization, and 

Salmonella can be fatal if the disease spreads from the gut to the bloodstream and other regions of the body unless antibiotics are administered rapidly.

Pregnant women, as well as the very young, the very elderly, and the immunocompromised, are particularly prone to getting sick with salmonella.

How to store American eggs?

Food safety experts in America emphasize the need to keep eggs cold once they have been refrigerated. A chilled egg at ambient temperature can sweat, allowing bacteria to develop and infiltrate through the egg’s porous shell.

It’s not a good idea to leave eggs out at ambient temperature for any more than 2 hours. It’s impossible to tell if a shelled egg is pathogen-free. Food poisoning microorganisms have no effect on a food’s taste, smell, or appearance. 

Because it’s impossible to detect if a chicken is sick with Salmonella, any egg could carry Salmonella, whether it comes from a grocery shop, a farmers’ market, or your neighbor’s backyard hens.

Eggs are a complete protein source with a variety of other nutrients. Keeping eggs properly preserved ensures that they are safe to eat.

How to safely eat raw American eggs?

Eat raw eggs soon after cracking them open

The most key point to remember is that uncooked eggs must be eaten as soon as possible after being prepared. When an egg is broken, the Salmonella bacteria upon this eggshell may come into contact with the egg white and probably wind up in the dish. 

When a fragment of cracked eggshell falls into a raw egg or eggs are divided by transferring the yolks between two eggshell halves, the danger of contamination increases.

Bacteria, such as Salmonella, require time to multiply (replicate), thus how soon you eat a meal and whether it is chilled before and after consumption is critical. Because human stomach acid will defeat very little amounts of germs in raw eggs, they are unlikely to result in food poisoning.

If a raw egg plate lies on the counter for a few hours, the microbial load rises, raising the risk of acute food poisoning.

So whereas breaking an egg into a bowl and eating it is minimal risk, breaking an egg into a container, dropping some eggshell in it, picking out the shell with your fingers, then eating it after 2 hours on the table is high risk.

Eat only clean, new raw eggs

Avoid buying cracked or unclean eggs, and if one breaks while being transported home, it’s best to discard them. Keep your eggs refrigerated in the carton you bought them in. This will retain the eggs fresher for longer, and you’ll be able to check the best-before period on the box.

Any eggs that have passed their best-before date should be discarded.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question, “Are American eggs safe to eat raw?”. We discussed the risks of eating American eggs raw. We also looked at how American eggs are treated along with the correct storage conditions.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know.

References

https://www.australianeggs.org.au/facts-and-tips/eating-raw-eggs
https://www.insider.com/why-europeans-dont-refrigerate-eggs-2016-12#:~:text=In%20the%20US%2C%20to%20reduce,growth%20of%20bacteria%20in%20check.
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eating-raw-eggs

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.