Are runny eggs safe?
Are runny eggs safe?

Many people enjoy runny eggs for breakfast, cooked, scrambled, or fried. The scene of the yellow, runny yolks dripping all over the plate is delicious and yummy. It’s calling for a piece of toast and dipping pleasure.

Yes, runny egg yolk is a delicious treat that is tasty and creamy; we cannot deny it. Still, have you ever wondered whether runny eggs are entirely safe to eat?

Well, here is an unpleasant truth – runny eggs can be dangerous for your health.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) strongly suggests avoiding eggs that haven’t been adequately heat-treated or any dishes containing raw or undercooked eggs (such as homemade ice cream, eggs benedict, or caesar dressing) to the risk of salmonella poisoning.

It’s important to consider what kind of eggs you are buying (always buy pasteurized eggs) and how you store them (always keep eggs refrigerated), and how you are serving them.

Are runny eggs actually raw eggs?

Yes, the term “runny” assumes that eggs haven’t been thoroughly cooked. It doesn’t matter are you eating sunny-side-up eggs or soft-boiled eggs; a runny yolk is still raw.

If you eat a raw egg, you’re exposing yourself to possible health issues.

Many consider raw eggs healthy, but it’s essential to know that raw eggs have almost the same nutritional profile as heat-treated eggs. Protein absorption from raw eggs can be even smaller than boiled or fried eggs and biotin intake.

Still, eating a runny egg or runny yolks can endanger your health, so it’s not worth the risk.

Are pasteurized eggs safe to be runny?

In order to stay healthy, cook your eggs thoroughly
In order to stay healthy, cook your eggs thoroughly (

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) considers it is safe to use raw pasteurized eggs. Eating pasteurized undercooked eggs lessens the possibility of salmonella, but the general advice is to eat well-cooked eggs to avoid food poisoning and eliminate the chance of infection.

Pasteurized eggs have been pasteurized to minimize the risk of foodborne illness. Foodborne illness or foodborne disease is any illness that is caused by the consumption of food or beverages that contain pathogens – viruses, bacteria, or parasites.

Most of the eggs you can buy in the store are pasteurized to reduce this risk. They have been gently heated in their shells – enough to kill all the microorganisms but not enough to cook them. Consequently, pasteurized eggs are safer to use raw in recipes that call for raw or undercooked eggs.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service require that all eggs and eggs products go through the pasteurization process. That means all the eggs you can buy in the grocery store have been pasteurized. Look on the carton for the “pasteurized” label and never buy eggs that haven’t been pasteurized.

Can you get sick from eating runny eggs?

The biggest risk associated with eggs is salmonella poisoning
The biggest risk associated with eggs is salmonella poisoning (

The main risk of eating raw eggs is salmonella poisoning. 

Eating eggs contaminated with salmonella can cause a disease called salmonellosis. Salmonella is a type of bacteria. Although it usually happens that the problems caused by this bacterium pass in up to seven days, salmonella can cause severe problems in the body, so it is much better to take all the steps to avoid it.

Inadequate heat treatment of foods infected with salmonella is a sure way to get salmonellosis.

However, salmonella is not only transmitted through the consumption of contaminated food. Salmonella is also transmitted from person to person.

Often, eggs that look fresh can contain salmonella. The presence of salmonella is not recognized by smell, color and therefore, heat treatment of eggs is essential. 

Room temperature favors the development of this bacterium, but a temperature of 130 °F kills it in 30 minutes. Samonella is not destroyed by freezing, but low temperatures will prevent it from spreading. Only by heat treatment of food can we destroy salmonella.

Signs of salmonella poisoning

If you have ingested salmonella by eating runny eggs, it’s vital that you know that the symptoms of food borne illnesses usually develop in 8 to 72 hours, and these symptoms are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fever
  • Temperature
  • A headache
  • Blood in the stool

It is unnecessary to have all of the above symptoms if you are infected with salmonella.

For most people, recovery takes several days, and there are no consequences. The only thing you need to consider is dehydration, so it is essential to drink fluids often.

You should take special care if young kids, pregnant women, or people with weakened immune systems become infected with salmonella because dehydration is faster in them. 

Indeed, some bacteria of the genus Salmonella are not harmless at all, and you must take all measures to avoid poisoning.

How to prevent salmonella infection?

As the most common form of salmonella contamination is through eggs, poultry meat, and milk (often in sweets), proper heat treatment is essential to avoid all the ailments and problems caused by this bacterium.

Cook your eggs thoroughly, and when we say cook eggs, we mean both the yolk and the egg whites. Always choose hard-boiled eggs over soft-boiled, well-done scrambled or fried eggs inside of sunny ones, and cook foods that contain eggs well. That’s the only way to avoid food poisoning.