Are eggs safe to eat? (benefits of eggs)

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “Are eggs safe to eat” and discuss the nutritional benefits of eggs.

Are eggs safe to eat?

Yes, eggs are safe for consumption. They are safe when produced under favourable bird conditions and undergo proper collection and preservation to maintain shell integrity (1).

Adequate storage is crucial for freshness, as indicated on the packaging. Detecting signs of ageing and spoilage is important, with methods like the water test distinguishing fresh (sinking) from older eggs (floating) (1).

It’s worth noting that even well-stored eggs showing no signs of spoilage carry some risk if expired (2).

While generally safe, cautious attention to freshness and quality is vital when including eggs in your diet.

What nutrients are in eggs aside from cholesterol?

Eggs are a valuable source of animal protein, essential vitamins, minerals, and beneficial compounds like high-quality protein, healthy fats, lutein, zeaxanthin, antioxidants, and choline (3).

They are an affordable and nutrient-rich whole food. With its high biological value, the body efficiently utilizes almost all of the protein found in eggs, making it comparable to breast milk as an exemplary protein source (3).

The bioactive components present in eggs can impact pathways related to both inflammation and anti-inflammation, which are significant in the development of various diseases (3).

Why are eggs considered a healthy addition to a balanced diet? Eggs, being rich in nutrients, are generally easier to digest compared to other protein-rich foods (3).

Overall, egg consumption tends to have a favourable or neutral impact on blood pressure levels in adults (3).

It’s worth noting that scientific evidence confirms the safety of consuming up to 1 whole egg per day for the majority of the population (4).

Therefore, it is advisable to maintain a balanced diet and remember that eggs can be a highly nutritious food choice.

What are the recommended safety guidelines for handling eggs?

The recommended safety guidelines for handling eggs include:

1. Avoid purchasing cracked eggs and inspect them carefully for any dents or cracks (1).

2. Avoid eggs with unusually thin shells, as they have a higher risk of salmonella contamination (5).

3. Consider the consistency of the egg: Fresh eggs have tightly clinging egg white to the bright yolk, while older eggs have separated whites and flattened yolks (1).

4. Rely on the odour of the egg: Fresh eggs emit a mild, agreeable smell, while spoiled eggs release an unpleasant, sulfur-like, or putrid odour (1).

5. Ensure the eggs are thoroughly cooked in dishes or recipes (1 and 5).

What are the risks of eating spoiled eggs?

Consuming expired eggs can pose a risk of various food-borne illnesses, particularly food poisoning. Spoiled eggs may contain bacteria like Salmonella, which can lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea, and abdominal pain (2).

Diarrhoea is the body’s way of indicating the presence of harmful substances. Abdominal pain is often accompanied by vomiting and nausea in cases of food poisoning from expired eggs (2).

Eating expired eggs can also elevate body temperature, causing fever, which is the body’s natural defence mechanism and an indicator that something is wrong (2).

In such cases, seeking appropriate medical assistance is recommended.

When is egg not safe to eat?

Eating eggs can offer numerous nutritional benefits, but there are also potential risks associated with them. Here’s a breakdown of three key risks: allergies, diet considerations, and foodborne diseases.

Allergies: Eggs are one of the common allergenic foods, especially in children. Egg allergies typically result from an immune response to proteins found in egg whites or yolks.  Those with egg allergies need to carefully avoid any egg-containing products and be vigilant about ingredient labels (3 and 4).

Diet considerations: Eggs are a source of high-quality protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. However, dietary risks may arise due to factors such as cholesterol content and individual dietary preferences. Some people limit egg consumption due to concerns about cholesterol, even though current research suggests that moderate egg consumption doesn’t significantly impact blood cholesterol for most individuals (3). 

Foodborne Diseases: Eggs are susceptible to contamination by pathogens like Salmonella, which can cause foodborne illnesses. Proper handling and cooking are crucial to mitigate this risk. Consuming raw or undercooked eggs can lead to bacterial infections, causing symptoms like stomach cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting, and fever (2).


Other FAQs about Eggs that you may be interested in.

How many eggs can you eat a day?


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question ‘Can chickens eat eggs?’ Yes, eggs are safe for consumption. Eggs are a valuable source of essential vitamins, minerals, and beneficial compounds like high-quality protein.

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