How likely is it to get salmonella from raw eggs?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how likely is it to get salmonella from raw eggs” with an in-depth analysis of how likely it is to get Salmonella from raw eggs. Moreover, we are going to discuss tips to reduce the risk of Salmonella infection from raw eggs.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How likely is it to get salmonella from raw eggs?

About one egg in twenty thousand eggs is contaminated with Salmonella according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Thus, the chances to get Salmonella from raw eggs are pretty low but still care should be taken in this regard and it is better to avoid eating raw eggs to keep yourself on the safe side.

What are the health risks of eating a salmonella-contaminated egg?

Consumption of raw eggs is connected with various potential risks, including Salmonella, which is mostly found on the eggshell but can also be found inside the egg.

If Salmonella is consumed, it can cause Salmonella infection as well as a variety of other food-borne illnesses. Salmonella infection caused by eating raw eggs causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.

How long do symptoms of Salmonella poisoning take to appear?

According to the FDA, the symptoms of Salmonella poisoning appear 12 to 72 hours after the consumption of the contaminated food.

When do you need to see a doctor?

In the case of kids

You need to see a doctor if the symptoms include

  1. Diarrhea that does not go away after one day
  2. Vomiting for more than 12 hours in newborns, 1 day in children under the age of 2, or 2 days in other children
  3. Dehydration symptoms include not urinating for three hours or longer, having a dry lips or tongue, and crying without tears.
  4. Fever of more than 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius)
  5. Bloody stools

In the case of adults

You need to see a doctor if your symptoms include

  1. Diarrhea that persists after two days
  2. Vomiting that lasts more than two days
  3. Dehydration symptoms include little or no urination, severe thirst, a very dry mouth, dizziness or lightheadedness, and urine that is very black.
  4. Fever of more than 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius)
  5. Bloody stools

Which bacteria is responsible for Salmonella poisoning?

Salmonella Enteritidis is the most frequent subtype of Salmonella that causes salmonellosis, also known as salmonella poisoning. 

Salmonella and vulnerable populations

Certain vulnerable populations are at a higher risk of contracting serious Salmonella infection and therefore they should refrain from eating raw or bad eggs. They are

  1. Elderly people especially those that are above the age of 65
  1. Children that are aged under 5 as their immune system is weak as compared to the adults
  1. Pregnant women
  1. Immunocompromised people have a very weak immune system and are already suffering from diseases like HIV or people that have recently got a transplant or have gone through surgery.

How does Salmonella attack the body?

The bacteria pass through the interior lining of the small intestines and into its middle layer, causing inflammation. Prolonged infection of salmonella can spread to the bloodstream and other organs, increasing disease length and severity.

How can Salmonella present in raw eggs cause death?

In severe cases, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream, and then to other body sites, and can cause death, unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. In otherwise healthy adults, the symptoms can be mild.

You can read more about Salmonella here.

How common is Salmonella infection?

Salmonella bacteria cause about 1.35 million infections, 26,500 hospitalizations, and 420 deaths every year.

How to reduce the chances of getting Salmonella infection from eggs?

You should consider the following tips while buying and storing eggs to reduce the chances of Salmonella infections to some extent.

  1. Do not buy eggs that have cracks in them.
  1. It is better to buy pasteurized eggs and egg products.
  1. The eggs should be refrigerated promptly at about 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Cook egg dishes till they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
  1. Make sure that the foods that contain raw or lightly cooked eggs such as tiramisu, hollandaise sauce, etc. should be made using pasteurized eggs.
  1. Refrigerate the cooked eggs or the foods containing eggs promptly. Never leave cooked eggs or products containing eggs for more than 2 hours at room temperature (1 hour if the outside temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or above).
  1. Wash hands, the utensils, and the kitchen counter that comes in contact with raw eggs.
  1. Do not taste or eat any uncooked dough or batter containing raw eggs, such as cookie dough or cake mix. Before consuming, bake uncooked dough and batter.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how likely is it to get salmonella from raw eggs” with an in-depth analysis of how likely it is to get Salmonella from raw eggs. Moreover, we discussed tips to reduce the risk of Salmonella infection from raw eggs.

Citations

https://extension.umn.edu/preserving-and-preparing/handling-eggs-prevent-salmonella#:~:text=The%20Centers%20for%20Disease%20Control,%2C%20headache%2C%20nausea%20and%20vomiting.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidacheson/2015/08/22/salmonella-guide/
https://slate.com/technology/2014/03/salmonella-and-raw-eggs-how-ive-eaten-tons-of-cookie-dough-and-never-gotten-sick.html
https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/communication/salmonella-and-eggs.html

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.