How dangerous is it to eat raw egg, really?

I hear it parroted alot that it is bad to eat raw eggs because you can get salmonella poisoning. But I also heard a study was done showing only 1 in 30000 eggs is contaminated. whats the sd?

Now, this is from memory so anybody with a cite or more knowledge should correct me at once, but:

a) I believe a healthy adult immune system should be able to handle a couple of lightly contaminated eggs just fine without any noticeable ill effects.

b) Consistently eating just raw egg whites can lead to a Vitamin B deficiency which can be avoided by eating the yolks as well.

c) Raw egg, honey, whipping cream in a blender. Trust me. :slight_smile:

One of Alton Brown’s books claims 1 in 10000 to 20000, and that salmonella is pretty mild for a healthy adult anyway. The book is a few years old, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that the incidence has gone down. So more or less what groman said, although I’d go for the ceasar salad, myself.

Alternatively, pasteurized eggs are available many places now, at least in the US, so you could skip the risk altogether if you like.

My hubby makes French Silk pie in both vanilla and chocolate. The vanilla pie consistes of sugar, butter, egg whites and vanilla. What’s not to like?

Let’s see - I’ve averaged three, maybe four raw eggs a day for the last four years. Unless salmonella makes your knee hurt, I don’t think I’ve been salmonellized yet.

Maybe on my next cheat day, or if I can find any sugar-free honey. :smiley:

According to an AP report (May 5, 2000), based apparently on USDA data, only an estimated one in 20,000 eggs is infected (and most of those not enough to cause illness). At the peak of the “epidemic,” 1996, there were 3.6 reported cases for every 100,000 people. Moreover, according to the CDC, only one in 784 reported salmonella cases in 1996 (all causes) were fatal. Mostly, returning to the AP report, involving folks with compromised immune systems, e.g., the elderly, infants and AIDS patients. IOW, there are much more significant food poisoning risks in your kitchen (e.g., leftovers).

How do you pasteurise an egg without cooking it?

Warm baths, apparently.

At home, by heating it to a temperature warm enough to kill the bacteria but not hot enough to coagulate the egg whites. Industrially, I’m pretty sure they are irradiated.

I’m suprised that chickens in the US aren’t vaccinated against salmonella as they are in the UK. Over here, it’s perfectly safe to eat raw eggs if they have the Lion mark.

Different countries and different standards. I believe that in the US people store them in their refrigerators for example.

That’s interesting, so Lion mark eggs should be safe even for those who would otherwise take precautions (the very old, aids sufferers, pregnant mothers, any other causes of reduced imune system).

Does anyone know where to get irradiated or pasturised eggs in California? I like to use raw egg yolk in my tiramissu and would like to be sure it was safe for pregnant friends.