Raw egg

Uncooked, unpasteurized egg. Salmonella enteritidis, a harmful bacterium, can be transmitted from infected hens directly to the interior of their eggs before the shells are formed. Even eggs with clean, uncracked shells can be infected. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) now estimate that 1 egg in 20,000 may be contaminated. Although the number of eggs affected is quite small, there have been a number of cases of foodborne illness related to infected eggs.

A person infected with Salmonella enteritidis usually has fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea beginning 12 to 72 hours after consuming the contaminated egg. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Although most people recover fully, the diarrhea may require hospitalization. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems may have a more severe illness. In them, the infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and cause death unless the infection is treated promptly with antibiotics.

If eggs are thoroughly cooked, the Salmonella are destroyed. Many dishes made in restaurants or commercial or institutional kitchens, however, are made from pooled eggs. If 500 eggs are pooled, one batch in 20 will be contaminated and everyone who eats eggs from that batch is at risk.

Shell eggs are safest when stored in the refrigerator, individually and thoroughly cooked, and promptly consumed. The larger the number of Salmonella present in the egg, the more likely it is to cause illness. Keeping eggs well refrigerated prevents any Salmonella present in the eggs from growing to higher numbers, so eggs should be held refrigerated until they are needed.

Cooking reduces the number of bacteria present in an egg. Undercooked egg whites and yolks have been associated with outbreaks of Salmonella enteritidis infections. Both should be consumed promptly and not be held in the temperature range of 40 to 140 degrees F for more than 2 hours, according to the CDC.

The CDC also recommends discarding cracked or dirty eggs; washing hands and cooking utensils with soap and water after contact with raw eggs; avoiding eating raw eggs as in homemade ice cream or eggnog; and avoiding restaurant dishes made with raw or undercooked unpasteurized eggs. (Knowing whether a restaurant has used raw eggs may not be easy.)

Read Also:

  • Raynaud's disease

    A condition that results in discoloration of the skin on the fingers and/or toes when a person is exposed to changes in temperature or to emotional events. Raynaud’s disease, also known as primary Raynaud’s phenomenon, can accompany other diseases; when it does, it is called Raynaud’s phenomenon or secondary Raynaud’s phenomenon. The skin discoloration occurs […]

  • Raynaud's phenomenon

    A condition resulting in discoloration of fingers and/or toes when a person is exposed to changes in temperature (cold or hot) or emotional events. The skin discoloration occurs because an abnormal spasm of the blood vessels causes a diminished blood supply. Initially, the digits involved turn white because of diminished blood supply, then turn blue […]

  • R/O

    Medical abbreviation for rule out.

  • r-tPA

    Tissue plasminogen activator.

  • R (symbol)

    A doctor’s note of a burn on the “R digit 5” places the burn on the right little finger or toe. Roentgen, an international unit of X-radiation or gamma-radiation. In chemistry, a radical. On a prescription, R (or Rx), recipe, which is Latin for “to take”.

Disclaimer: Raw egg definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.