Does freezing eggs kill Salmonella?
In this article, we will answer the question “Does freezing eggs kill Salmonella?”, what happens if you eat egg with Salmonella, .
Does freezing eggs kill Salmonella?
No, freezing eggs does not kill Salmonella.
Freezing is generally an excellent way to preserve microorganisms, but there are exceptions. Despite cell injury, these exceptions have a repair mechanism that allows most to survive freezing (1).
Salmonella spp. are known for their tolerance to freezing. Salmonella typhimurium, for example, is stable when frozen at – 22 ºC (- 7,6 ºF), although it is very susceptible to repeated freezing (2).
What happens if I eat frozen eggs with Salmonella?
If you eat frozen eggs with a Salmonella infection. You can have gastroenteritis and symptoms can include headache, fever, stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting which can last days or weeks (3).
Is it dangerous to have Salmonella infection?
Yes, it is dangerous to have a Salmonella infection. Clinical manifestations of Salmonella infection range from mild intestinal signs to septicemia, with deaths (4).
Anyone can be affected by Salmonella, and will have the symptoms mentioned above. However, some people are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill with salmonella food poisoning, which includes: pregnant women, young children, adults over 60, and people with weakened immune systems, due to lower resistance to infections (5,6).
How can I reduce my chances of getting a Salmonella infection?
There are a few ways to reduce the chance of getting a Salmonella infection.
In general, a large number of Salmonella need to be ingested for gastroenteritis to occur, and the infecting dose depends on the isolated serotype (7).
Eggs and foods that contain egg in their composition must be kept under refrigeration, about 7,2 ºC (45 °F) or less (8). So, keep eggs and egg products refrigerated until required to inhibit the increase in the amount of this bacterium. Also, pay attention when transporting food containing raw eggs, and ensure that they will be kept cool (5).
It is not recommended to wash the eggs. Salmonella is also founded on eggshells. Egg washing allows bacteria to move from outside the shell into the egg (5,9). Never use cracked or dirty eggs in the preparation of food (5).
Kitchen utensils (knives, cutting boards, and plastic or metal bowls) can favor cross-contamination between contaminated eggs and vegetables consumed in natura (without cooking) (4). Therefore, hands and surfaces should always be washed when handling food and utensils (8,9).
Salmonella can be destroyed by proper cooking: minimum internal temperature of 71.1 °C (160 °F) (9).
Consider avoiding foods that require raw or improperly cooked eggs. It is advisable to cook the eggs until the white and yolk are firm (9).
Are there other sources of Salmonella?
There are other sources of Salmonella. It is also found in raw meat, undercooked poultry such as chicken or turkey, unpasteurized milk in addition to egg. Other foods like green vegetables, fruit, and shellfish can become contaminated through contact with animals and feces. For example, manure is used to improve soil fertility or sewage in water (6).
Other FAQs about Eggs that you may be interested in.
In this article, we answered the question “Does freezing eggs kill Salmonella?”, how to reduce the chances of getting a Salmonella infection and other sources of Salmonella.
1. Ting W tsyi. Studies on the death, injury, repair of injury, and the detection of salmonella subjected to freezing and thawing. University Microfilms Inc.; 1986.
2. Arches D L. Freezing: an underutilized food safety technology? International Journal of Food Microbiology. 2004 Jan 15;90(2):127–38.
3. Knodler LA, Elfenbein JR. Salmonella enterica. Trends in Microbiology. 2019 Nov;27(11):964–5.
4. Alexandro O V B, Silva R A, Araújo A, Brandão P A, Silva F B. Padrões microbiológicos da carne de frango de corte – referencial teórico. Revista Verde de Agroecologia e Desenvolvimento Sustentável. 2011;6(3).
5. Queensland Health. Food safety—Salmonella-Egg safety for the consumer [Internet]. Queensland Health. [cited 2023 Jun 26]. Available from: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0021/441066/salmonella-factsheet.pdf
6. Salmonella [Internet]. Food Standards Agency. 2018 [cited 2023 Jun 26]. Available from: https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/salmonella
7. Shinohara NKS, Barros VB de, Jimenez SMC, Machado E de CL, Dutra RAF, Lima Filho JL de. Salmonella spp., importante agente patogênico veiculado em alimentos. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva. 2008 Oct;13(5):1675–83.
8. Egg Safety – Prevent Salmonella [Internet]. Chester County, PA – Official Website. [cited 2023 Jun 26]. Available from: https://www.chesco.org/898/Egg-Safety—Prevent-Salmonella
9. 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. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. 2021 May;20(3):2716–41.