Can you get sick from eating undercooked eggs?
In this article, we will explore the question, “Can you get sick from eating undercooked eggs?” We will also discuss the handling and risks of eating undercooked eggs.
Can you get sick from eating undercooked eggs?
Yes, you can get sick from eating undercooked eggs. While eggs are highly nutritious, they can potentially pose a health risk if not handled correctly.
Eggs may harbor harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus, both inside and on the eggshells. Even if the egg’s interior appears completely normal, these bacteria can still be present (1).
If the egg is not cooked thoroughly, these bacteria will survive and can cause illness. It’s important to ensure eggs are cooked properly to eliminate any potential risk of sickness (2).
What are some effective methods to prevent health issues when consuming eggs?
To prevent infections and maintain your health, consider implementing the following measures:
1. Store eggs in the refrigerator at all times (3).
2. Discard eggs with visible cracks or damaged shells (4).
3. Opt for pasteurized eggs or egg products when available (2 and 5).
4. Cook egg dishes at a temperature of 160°F or 71°C or higher (2).
5. Ensure both the egg yolk and egg white are fully cooked before stopping the cooking process (2).
6. When preparing dishes that contain partially cooked or raw eggs, use pasteurized eggs (2).
7. Avoid leaving eggs or egg dishes at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Refrigerate them promptly or consume them immediately after cooking (5 and 6).
8. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after handling raw eggs, and clean all utensils and surfaces that come into contact with them (7).
9. Refrain from tasting raw batter or dough before baking, as it may contain harmful bacteria (2).
10. If you wish to store leftover eggs, freeze them after cracking them open, placing the separated egg whites and yolks in separate bags or containers (8).
By following these practices, you can minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses associated with egg consumption.
How can you tell if an egg is contaminated?
Bacterial contamination in eggs cannot be identified by visual inspection alone. Bacteria such as Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus can be found on the eggshells and inside the eggs (2).
Cooking food at a high temperature helps kill these bacteria and prevent infection (2 and 5).
It’s important to note that soft, poached, or runny eggs may not be fully cooked, even though they may taste good. To ensure safety, it is recommended to use pasteurized eggs (2).
What are the risks of eating undercooked eggs?
Consuming undercooked eggs poses a risk of foodborne illnesses, including Salmonella infection. Symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain may occur (5).
Diarrhea indicates harmful substances, while abdominal pain, accompanied by vomiting and nausea, signifies food poisoning (5).
Eating expired eggs can raise body temperature, leading to fever, a sign of underlying issues. Seeking medical assistance is advised in such cases to ensure proper treatment.
How to store eggs safely?
The storage temperature and humidity play a crucial role in determining the rate of egg deterioration. Eggs stored at 27°C for 10 days degrade in a similar manner to those stored for several months at -1°C. It is important to maintain humidity at a consistent level of around 75% (3).
However, it is essential to carefully monitor humidity levels. If the humidity drops too low, the eggs may dry out, while excessively high humidity can promote mold growth (3).
In certain developing regions where refrigeration is not commonly available, surface coating is an alternative method used to preserve egg quality internally and protect against microbial contamination (3 and 8).
Other FAQs about Eggs that you may be interested in.
In this article, we have addressed the question, ‘Can you get sick from eating undercooked eggs?’ Yes, you can get sick from eating undercooked eggs. Cook egg dishes at a temperature of 160°F or 71°C or ensure to use pasteurized eggs to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses, including Salmonella infection.
- Chaemsanit S, Akbar A, Anal AK. Isolation of total aerobic and pathogenic bacteria from table eggs and its contents. FAB J [Internet]. 2017 Feb. 23 [cited 2023 Jul. 5];3(1):1-9. Available from: https://li01.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/fabjournal/article/view/78102
2. Cardoso MJ, Nicolau AI, Borda D, Nielsen L, Maia RL, Møretrø T, et al. Salmonella in eggs: From shopping to consumption—A review providing an evidence-based analysis of risk factors. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 2021;20(3):2716–41.
3. Torrico DD, No HK, Prinyawiwatkul W, Janes M, Corredor JA, Osorio LF. Mineral oil–chitosan emulsion coatings affect quality and shelf‐life of coated eggs during refrigerated and room temperature storage. Journal of Food Science. 2011 May;76(4):S262-8. Available from:
4. Wolc A, Arango J, Settar P, O’Sullivan NP, Olori VE, White IMS, et al. Genetic parameters of egg defects and egg quality in layer chickens. Poult Sci [Internet]. 2012;91(6):1292–8. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0032579119402460
5. Linscott AJ. Food-Borne Illnesses. Clin Microbiol Newsl [Internet]. 2011;33(6):41–5. Available from:
7. Kamboj S, Gupta N, Bandral JD, Gandotra G, Anjum N. Food safety and hygiene: A review. Int J Chem Stud. 2020;8(2):358–68. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Neeraj-Gupta-17/publication/339877534_Food_safety_and_hygiene_A_review/links/5e7f7b41299bf1a91b866018/Food-safety-and-hygiene-A-review.pdf
8. Wahba NA, Mel-Shereif WA, Amin M. The effect of different preservation methods on egg quality and validity. Assiut Veterinary Medical Journal. 2014 Oct 1;60(143):42-8. Available from: https://avmj.journals.ekb.eg/article_171048.html