T Nation

Raw Eggs and Salmonella

I drink six eggs at a time every few days as I like to vary my protein sources and I am lazy in the kitchen. Just regular white eggs, nothing special.

With that said, I know this subject has been beaten to death, but I was thinking about this the other day: How many times have I read on a forum of somebody getting sick from eating raw eggs? Not once. And I have read quite a few threads on the subject.

With all the hype salmonella gets, I’d think at least ONE person could say they or somebody they know has gotten sick from consuming raw eggs.


If your buying them from a big supermarket like Meijer, Walmart, or Kroger you wont find a problem with their eggs. Its the low budgest grocery depots that I’d worry about.

My cousin recently got selmanella form raw eggs, at least thats what he believes. He said he shopped at a smaller convenient/grocery store.

You can buy raw egg whites in a carton already pasteurized. That’s what I do because I’m not willing to take the risk (…even if it is slim)

The most direct and relevant answer is as given above: the risk is extremely low with a major name-brand product.

A second point is that if the shell is unbroken, the interior of the egg is virtually certain to be sterile. The outer surface of the cell is where bacteria may be present. If paranoid one could simply wash the outside of the eggs thoroughly with for example Dawn and hot water.

Lastly, a purely intellectually-interesting couple of points.

First, the concept of “species” in bacteria is completely different than in animals.

Animals of the same species have common ancestors within a reasonable time period, and the members of each generation of the species are the product of two other members of the species “mixed together” so to speak. Thus over time largely homogenizing the species (though of course gene variants will exist.)

Two bacteria of the same “species” do not necessarily have a common ancestor at all within any reasonable time period. And the members of each generation are NOT the product of two other members of the species, but rather each generation, one is simply the original bacterium continuing on, and the other is a bud off of that original. So they are not an interbreeding group, unlike animal species.

So how are they the same species then? We classify them that way if they are sufficiently similar genetically and in terms of structure. However they might not be “related” in terms of having a common ancestor at all in any reasonable time frane.

But in general few think about this, and it’s “Ooooo! Salmonella! That’s bad!” “Oooo! E. coli! That’s one of the bad ones!”

However in fact all sorts of bacteria called E. coli are perfecly harmless and in fact normal inhabitants of the human GI tract.

Even Salmonella enteritidis is normally present in the GI tracts of something like 5% of people.

So it’s not a question of whether something is E. coli or salmonella or not, it’s a question of whether it happens to be a pathogenic bacteria or not – happens to have genes makihng them cause disease. Which for most examples of these species is not the case.

It’s rare, but rare doesn’t mean impossible.

Do what you want. I consume raw eggs almost every and have for years. I’m fine.

10 Raw Eggs and a Litre of milk is a one way ticket to the gunshow.

I’ve drank a carton of egg whites for breakfast every morning for the past 2 years. Never had a problem with them. Not never.