In this short article, we will answer the question “can you get sick from eating undercooked eggs”. Additionally, we will discuss the symptoms associated with eating undercooked eggs, handling, and storage tips.
Can you get sick from eating undercooked eggs?
Yes, you can get sick from eating undercooked eggs. Though eggs are highly nutritious, they may pose a potential health risk if not handled properly.
Eggs may contain pathogenic bacterial species e.g., Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus. These can be present inside the eggs and on the eggshells. Even if the inside of the egg looks perfectly normal, these bacteria can be present. If the egg is not cooked properly, these bacteria will not be killed and can make you sick.
Symptoms associated with eating undercooked egg
If you have consumed an undercooked egg, you may notice symptoms within 4 to 48 hours. If the egg you consumed was contaminated with Salmonella, the following symptoms will develop:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- stomach pain/cramps
- acute diarrhoea
These symptoms may last for two to seven days.
Another potential contaminant that is known to be present inside the eggs is Staphylococcus aureus. This bacterium also causes similar food poisoning symptoms with diarrhoea lasting up to a day or two. Symptoms usually appear after eight hours of eating.
More severe symptoms include:
- Difficulty in speech and/or swallowing
- Double vision
- Body aches
- Bloody diarrhoea
- Body paralysis
Possible ways to prevent infection
To prevent the occurrence of infection and to keep yourself healthy, you should consider taking the following measures:
- Never buy eggs that are not kept refrigerated.
- Always store the eggs in a refrigerator at 4°C or lower
- Dispose of the eggs that are visibly dirty or have cracks
- Try to buy pasteurized eggs or egg products
- Cook the egg dishes at a temperature of 71°C or higher.
- Do not stop cooking unless both the egg yolk and egg white are firm enough.
- Always use pasteurized eggs when making dishes e.g., Caesar salad that uses half-cooked or raw eggs
- Do not keep eggs or egg dishes at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Refrigerate quickly or eat them right after cooking
- Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling raw eggs and clean all the utensils that come in contact including the kitchen counter, dishes, chopping board, etc.
- Never taste any batter or raw dough for example, when making cake or cookies, before baking
- Never freeze eggs with their eggshells. If you wish to store eggs, freeze them after cracking them in a bowl.
Shelf-life of eggs
- For best quality, use eggs within three weeks and check the expiry date on the package
- Use frozen eggs within one year
- Use full cooked/ hard-boiled eggs within one week
What should be preferred raw egg or boiled egg?
Some people do prefer to consume raw egg yolk as it is highly nutritious, yet it is advisable to at least half or medium boil the eggs prevent any risk of infection. However, it is not safe for children to consume runny yolks.
How can you tell if your eggs have gone bad?
To know if your eggs are not safe to consume, take a bowl and fill it with cold tap water, place your eggs in it. If the eggs are bad, they will not sink but float on the water surface. Throw away any floating eggs. The eggs that are fresh to eat will sink to the bottom.
How do you know if an egg is contaminated with bacteria?
Bacterial presence cannot be detected just by looking at the eggs. These bacteria i.e., Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus can be present on the eggshells as well as inside the eggs. Bacteria can be killed at a warm temperature so cooking food thoroughly can prevent infection.
It should be kept in mind that soft, dropped, and runny eggs are not fully cooked, even if they are delicious.
Does cooking eggs kill bacteria?
Bacteria are killed at a warmer temperature, so cooking an egg thoroughly will kill all the harmful bacteria that may be present on or inside the egg, whereas partial cooking can allow bacteria to survive.
What do spoiled eggs taste like?
If the eggs are spoiled, the egg white becomes less white and clearer, and the yolk becomes watery, compromising the overall taste of the egg as compared to the fresh egg. Moreover, a rotten egg tastes like sulfur.
What are the benefits of eating two eggs a day?
Eggs increase the levels of high-density lipoprotein, best known as good cholesterol. People having a higher level of HDL are at a lower risk of developing heart diseases and other health issues.
In this article, we have answered the query, “can you get sick from eating undercooked eggs?”, Symptoms associated with eating undercooked eggs, handling, and storage of eggs.