Taste Test: Raw eggs


When you buy eggs in America, the carton usually carries this warning message:

SAFE HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS: To prevent illness from bacteria: Keep eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks are firm, and cook foods containing eggs thoroughly.
I always wondered why. I eat raw eggs over rice almost every day when I'm visiting my parents in Tokyo, and then I fly back to California and promptly switch to scrambled eggs because of this fear that I'll get sick from eating raw eggs in America.

foar-tamago608.jpgTamago kake gohan
Scoop some rice into a small bowl, and dig a hole in the middle. Crack an egg into the hole. Add a dash of soy sauce. Mix everything together. Optional: Add furikake, pickles, sour plum, fried fish, cod roe.

Image via Gourmet.com

There's a 1 in 20,000 chance that an egg might contain salmonella, according to the American Egg Board. "The risk of getting a foodborne illness from eggs is very low, but the nutrients in eggs are also a good growth medium for bacteria," says Elisa Malobert, director of egg product marketing at the AEB. "To eliminate risk, we do not recommend the consumption of raw or lightly cooked eggs." It doesn't matter, she adds, whether you're eating organic and free range $8-a-dozen farm fresh eggs or super-processed $2 eggs. (Egg "grades" are determined by appearance and yolk-to-white ratio, not content quality.) Hens aren't affected by salmonella, so they can carry it and pass it onto egg yolk without anyone knowing. And if that doesn't happen, salmonella could enter through the shell after the bloom — the natural coating that protects the inside — is washed off after collection. Egg shells are super porous; there are anywhere from 7-17,000 pores on a single shell.

My brother got salmonella once from eating raw chicken at a high-end yakitori restaurant in Tokyo. I know, I know. Raw eggs are debatable, but nobody in their right minds eats raw chicken! This might imply that the Japanese are less concerned about food safety, but on the other hand, most restaurants there will never wrap up food to go precisely because food can go bad once it's no longer fresh and they don't want to be liable for that. If I can guess at any reason why the Japanese are more inclined to eat raw everything, it might be because the culture inherently appreciates and celebrates the purity of unprocessed, uncooked flavors. I don't have any numbers for the incidence of salmonella in Japanese eggs, but I'm assuming that, like American eggs, it's not that common.

Raw eggs are a great source of Vitamins B12 and D; they also have tons of protein. If you're willing to see past the USDA warning and try it, I highly recommend making tamago kake gohan — raw egg on rice — for breakfast.

Every installment of Taste Test will explore recipes, the science, and some history behind a specific food item.

Image via Gep's Flickr


  1. Raw eggs aren’t safe in the US because testing chickens for salmonella is too expensive, where ‘too expensive’ should be read as “might cut into the profits of the giant agribusinesses.”

    1. you mean 27.5 years, not 55 years. At 27.5 years you will have eaten 10000 eggs Once you have eaten 10001 eggs, it will be more likely than not that you will have eaten an egg with salmonella.

      1. @BCJ: Nope. After eating 10,000 eggs, what is the probability that you will have had at least one with salmonella? It’s 1 – the probability that every egg has been disease free.

        The probability of one egg being disease free is 1-(1/20000) = 0.99995.

        The probability of 10,000 eggs being disease free is 0.99995 * 10,000 = 0.6065 = 60.7%

        So after eating 10,000 eggs, you will still have only a 40% chance of having ever consumed salmonella.

        However, by 20,000 eggs you will have had a 63% chance of having eaten salmonella, so your magic 50.1% number is between those two values.

        1. @SamSam: Nope.

          @BCJ: Nope. After eating 10,000 eggs, what is the probability that you will have had at least one with salmonella? It’s 1 – the probability that every egg has been disease free.

          No, that’s the probability that all the eggs you’ve eaten are disease free; you’re calculating [egg 1 is disease free] AND [egg 2 is disease free] AND … which is (1-1/20000)*(1-1/20000)… = (1 – 1/20000)^N, N being the number of eggs and ^N meaning to the power of N.

          What you want to find is the probability of at least one egg being diseased. This is [egg 1 is diseased] OR [egg 2 is diseased] … That calculation is (1/20000)+(1/20000)+… = (1/20000)*N, N being the number of eggs consumed.

          The value of N for which you are 50% likely to have eaten an egg is the solution of (1/20000)*N = 0.5, which is N = 10000.

          1. @mattxb: No no no no.

            What you want to find is the probability of at least one egg being diseased. This is [egg 1 is diseased] OR [egg 2 is diseased] … That calculation is (1/20000)+(1/20000)+… = (1/20000)*N, N being the number of eggs consumed.

            I’m sorry, but that is completely incorrect.

            Here, how about this: what is the probability of throwing at least one six with three throws of a dice?

            Your method will say 1/6 + 1/6 + 1/6 = 1/2, which sounds correct if you are new to statistics, but is completely wrong.

            What is the probability of throwing at least 1 six with six throws? 100%? That’s what your method will predict. (1/6) * 6 = 1. But I’m sure you agree that that’s incorrect.

            How about the probability of getting a head with two flips of a coin? You agree that it’s not 1/2 * 2 = 100%, right?

            Does the probability of eating a salmonella egg double if you eat two of them? Well, does the probability of getting a head double (from 50%, remember) if you flip twice?

            No, the probability of getting at least 1 head is exactly equal to 1 – [the probability of flipping no heads], which is 1 – (1/2 * 1/2) = 3/4.

            The probability of getting at least 1 salmonella egg is exactly 1 – [the probability of getting no salmonella eggs], which is the calculation I performed for you before.

            You can’t add probabilities together, or soon you’ll start proving that there’s a 110% chance of something happening…


        2. That is incorrect. The probability is independent, not dependent.

          If there was a stockpile of a limited number of eggs and you were taking one at a time from them, diminishing the remaining reserve, then the probability would change over time.

          In this case it does not change, because the egg you eat one day does not affect the properties of the entire population of eggs when you consume it.

          Probabilities only change over time with selection if you’re doing something like drawing cards from a deck and not putting them back in. With huge numbers like state populations or overall egg production this is one of the more inaccurate estimates you can make (increasing the odds of your prediction every time one is chosen) because it starts out reasonably accurate and gets more and more innacurate over time.

          The law of large numbers tells us that as the sample size increases, the empirical (or sample) probability will approach further and further to the classical probability. So, in this case, as you consume more and more eggs, your odds actually grow (insubstantially) closer to 1/20000, not farther away from it.

          I’m probably misstating the theory behind this somewhat but the core message is accurate as far as I’ve been taught.

          1. @AirPillo,

            I think you’ve misunderstood my statement. I was not calculating the probability that the next egg you eat will have salmonella, which we all agree is independent. I was calculating the probability that at least one out of 10,000 eggs will have salmonella. You can agree that the probability of having at least one egg with salmonella increases at the number of eggs goes up.

    2. >1:20,000 huh? So that’s 55 years of eating one raw egg per day.

      More like a few thousand cases per day, and telling people not to eat raw eggs certainly makes sense when giving advice to billions of people.

  2. Also, the people who write those labels don’t really care about your safety. They just don’t want to get sued.

    To quote Dave Barry, America’s national motto has essential become, “You can’t say we didn’t warn you.”

  3. Re: bloom on eggs

    The farms where I buy my eggs (we have at least three farms within a mile of our house that sell fresh eggs) barely brush off the straw. I know they’re definitely not washing them. :D

  4. if i recall correctly, the incidence of salmonella poisonings and infections in hens west of the mississppi have both been considerably lower than in the east.

    i can’t point to any studies, just lots of recollections. however the cdc link above does state that while it is a national issue, most infected hens have been found in the northeast.

  5. “Raw eggs have amazing nutrients that boost the immune system, improve digestion, and keep your body’s balance in check.”

    Ths snds lk th sm crp y hr n ll ths ltrntv mdcn nfmrcls nd mgzn ds. Ttl bllsht wth n scnc r cmmn sns t bck t p. Pls stp mkng ths nt yr prsnl gnd blg.

    God I miss BoingBoingGadgets.

  6. I’m wondering about the egg industry in Japan, and how long the farm-to-table cycle is there. I’ve known a few egg producers in Canada, and they’ve told me that in North America it’s completely normal for eggs to spend months warehoused, unrefrigerated, between the farm and the store. Eggs can handle that no problem (according to my sources), but it does bring them closer to the end of their shelf-life by the time you encounter them.
    If, in Japan, eggs reach the consumer without this warehousing delay, then they might indeed be safer to eat raw as they would be much fresher.

    1. Huh? Month in the warehouse? Over here fresh eggs *must* have a best-before-date which is at maximum 28 days after it has been laid. Where the egg has been laid must be stamped on the egg, down to the building. Also how the chicken is kept (organic,free range, ground, cage).

      And most , if not all, big producers print when this specif egg has been laid, sometimes even what the hens have been fed (classes of percantage of grain).

        1. Oh sorr, “overe here” = “in Germany”, though as far as I know, the rules I quoted apply to the entire EU.

    2. in North America it’s completely normal for eggs to spend months warehoused, unrefrigerated, between the farm and the store.

      Don’t know about the exact figures, but big grocery stores’ eggs are sure way less fresh tasting than the ones I get at the farmer’s market (where the eggs are cheaper if they were laid over a day ago), or from the discount store around the corner (which buys them direct from farmers – we get eggs so fresh only because they break the laws designed to ensure freshness).

      Real, raw eggnog is a wonderful thing. I sometimes make the big-batch, lots-of-liquor, lots-of-cream version, but usually I just put an ounce of rum, an egg, a spoonful of sugar, and some milk and icecubes into the cocktail shaker.

  7. 1 in 20000?. That tells me: If I accidentally ingest some raw egg, I needn’t worry about it, but if I eat raw eggs on purpose on a more or less daily basis, I’m probably going to get salmonella at some point in my life. Good to know.

  8. The amazing nutrient bit could easily be right – many very useful chemicals break down under the heat of cooking. More information is needed to call it hokum though, imo.

    To the OP – from the pic/recipe linked, you should have no problem, honestly. You’re cooking the egg if you have hot enough rice. I always ate tolsot bibimbap (http://www.noodlepie.com/2004/05/bibimbap.html) in Korea with raw eggs and had no qualms, because the dish was hot enough to do the cooking for me.

    Rice and eggs is an amazing combination.

  9. I love sunny side up eggs, and have eaten them all of my life, as has the rest of my family. 20,000 eggs seems like a lot but I would be willing to bet between my parents, sister, grandparents, and myself we might have come close and none of us, or anyone we’ve ever known has had a case of salmonella that they can trace back to eggs. Are the yokes perhaps somehow less risky to be eaten raw?

    Maybe like eating a medium rare steak would be slightly less risky than eating a rare steak?

  10. That sounds really tasty – does the egg cook a little on warm rice, or is it all a gloopy goodness?

    1. Growing up, my mom (who is Korean) would make egg and rice for us almost daily. You put steaming hot rice in a bowl, crack an egg over it, and mix it up. The hot rice cooks the eggs, and the result is a really creamy rice dish. We ate it with kim (roasted seaweed) and a little bit of soy sauce. The trick is you must use hot rice, and if the rice-to-egg ratio is off then sometimes it gets a little gloppy. It’s delicious, filling, and a very cheap way to feed a family.

  11. Raw eggs might not be as nutritional as people think. According to On Food and Cooking by McGee (p 78, revised ed.), raw eggs actually contain anti-nutritional proteins that inhibit absorption of nutrients and lab animals that are fed an exclusive raw egg diet actually lose weight.

    1. for anonymous who said:
      “raw eggs actually contain anti-nutritional proteins that inhibit absorption of nutrients and lab animals that are fed an exclusive raw egg diet actually lose weight.”

      I don’t have McGee handy or committed to memory, but he likely means the avidin/biotin thing.

      From the wiki on biotin:
      “Biotin deficiency is relatively rare and mild, and can be addressed with supplementation. Such deficiency can be caused by the excessive consumption of raw egg whites (20 eggs/day would be required to induce it), which contain high levels of the protein avidin, which binds biotin strongly. Avidin is deactivated by cooking, while the biotin remains intact.”

      So keep the exclusive egg white thing to under a dozen and you should be ok.

  12. Growing up in Italy, my favorite dessert was zabaione: raw eggs yolks and sugar whipped together, maybe with a little sweet wine.

    I did get salmonella once. However, it was not from raw eggs but from bad meat in Tunisia.

    My salmonella was salmonella typhosa, which caused Typhoid fever, which caused my appendix to burst and turn gangrenous.

    It really wasn’t that pleasant.

    Then again, I got care from Italy’s national health care system, was in hospital for 10 days (a beautiful converted monastery), had emergency surgery and blood work and such, and the final bill (without any proof of citizenship or residency or anything) was about $2500. They didn’t even need any proof that we’d pay it, they just asked for an address to send the bill to.

    1. I also adore sabayon/zabaglione. I make it with V. Sattui Madeira. It’s delicious! However, every recipe I’ve seen for it involves cooking the eggs/wine/sugar in a double-boiler. It’s not a raw-egg food.

      Meringue, on the other hand…

      1. I live in the UK and most of our eggs are brown, it’s more of a novelty to see a white one – can’t remember the last time I saw one. Also never before heard this ‘brown eggs are better’ nonsense!

  13. I’d probably try it if someone made it for me but I wouldn’t go out of my way to try it. The only raw foods I like are fruits/nuts/vegetables, and even sunny side up eggs creep me out. I love scrambled eggs and stuff with eggs in it like custard, but that’s about it.

  14. BTW, I echo the comments about “boosting the immune system” and “keeping your body’s balance in check,” although perhaps not quite as unnecessarily rudely as killdeer above.

    It’s just funny because I’m quite sure there have been BB posts about products using exactly this kind of language.

    1. @samsam the question is meaningless w/out looking at costs and benefits.

      Apparently, the risk is 1:20,000 that the egg contains salmonella. That’s not even the risk of getting infected, much less that one suffers more than one day of diarrhea.

      So the personal risk of getting seriously sick by using one or three raw eggs, making a batter and lick some of that is actually very small for healthy adults and teenagers.

      It’s different on large scale productions, of course, especially when it comes to cross contamination.

  15. “So that’s 55 years of eating one raw egg per day”
    Not quite. If the odds are 1 in 20,000, you don’t get a free pass the first 19,999 times you eat that raw egg.

    If one egg in 20,000 is bad, and you eat a raw egg for breakfast every day, there is a chance that you could go your whole life without eating a bad egg.

    However, there is a 5% chance that you will get at least one bad egg the first 3 years, a 10% chance the first 6, and a 20% chance you will get at least one bad egg the first 12 years.

    1. Nice try. This implies there is a 100% chance of getting salmonella in 55 years of eating 1 raw egg a day. Probability (at least in this case) is not cumulative.

  16. Also from wikipedia: egg shells DO guard against contamination, although unhealthy chickens may lay compromised eggs for which this is not true.

  17. Convenient to blame “agribusiness profits” but isn’t the bottom line what consumers ask for and are willing to pay for?

    How about everyone check out their refrigerator? Got industrial eggs in there?

    1. Most of us (the majority who live in cities) have little or no choice. And I cook my eggs thoroughly.

      Btw, those of us who are fond of mayonnaise are eating raw eggs. I trust Hellman’s not to poison me.

      1. @Xopher: As far as I am aware, Hellman’s mayonnaise and most other commercial mayonnaise is made from pasteurized eggs, so not raw. However, I couldn’t find any official sources for this, only random internet jetsam.

        @peterbruells: I’m guessing that reply was meant for someone else?

    2. Actually no…My farm fresh eggs are in the fridge right next to my raw milk.

      But I agree with your point. A lot of people aren’t willing or can’t pay the premium cost that eggs coming straight from the farm cost (about $3 a dozen in my area). I’m willing to pay it as I find the quality is worth the cost.

      As for the quality argument, I think the more bugs those chickens are eating, the better. Therefore, summer eggs > winter eggs.

  18. I ate raw eggs at Japanese restaurants in Hawaii and was amazed at how much I liked them, considering I don’t go out of my way to eat cooked eggs. Dipping sukiyaki in raw egg made it even more awesome than it was to begin with.

  19. I always found it interesting that the stores I went into in the UK never refrigerated eggs. They just sat on the shelves. I suppose it’s the shorter supply chain that means they don’t have to. And now I want a Scottish Egg.

    1. Exactly! I live in Italy and none of the eggs in stores are refrigerated (although they do recommend putting them in the fridge when you get home).

  20. I had a Japanese teacher once who thought it was some specific default with US eggs that made them more prone to carrying salmonella but that Japanese eggs were perfectly safe.

  21. Thank you for this wonderful series. My wife and I are now excited to try this for breakfast tomorrow. I have always found it very silly that we have created a culture in the US that is built on fear of what we eat. Raw meat will make you sick. Raw eggs will put you in the hospital. In the 80s we used to put raw eggs in our protein shakes and smoothies. What happened?
    We are looking forward to your next article. Thank you again.

  22. Though… it is fairly easy to keep one or two hens in a modest back yard. They’re not hard to care for, really; probably the easiest farm animal to raise, actually.

    Feed them right and give them enough space and they’re happy little egglayers.

    1. City, my friend, city. My building has a sub-modest backyard that all the residents share. Chickens would not fit and would not be tolerated. In addition, I don’t think they’re allowed within the city limits.

      A lot of people have no yard at all, not even a shared one.

  23. Eggs indeed do “boost the immune system, improve digestion, and keep your body’s balance in check.” Contrary to what the rude commenter above stated, a 10-second glance down the nutrition table of your egg carton will tell you this. Chicken eggs are one of the most digestible complete proteins available to humans as well as a ready source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

    There is no evidence that raw eggs are any more nutritious than cooked. Denaturing the proteins does not mean any amino acids are lost. However, there is some evidence that uncooked egg whites are less nutritious than cooked whites, with one study finding cooked eggs inhibit protein digestion enough to make one egg roughly half as nutritious in protein.


    I’ve had a raw yolk every morning for the past 4-5 years with no issue. As a healthy young adult, I am not particularly afraid of egg salmonella should it come. Raw yolks are an incredibly quick and easy way to eat breakfast protein for people who do not have a lot of time on their hands.

  24. According to the egg board site, yolks are much more likely to contain salmonella than whites. So if you’re not scared of eating them over-easy or sunny side up, it shouldn’t be too much of a leap to go completely raw.

    As far as I’m concerned, raw eggs got electrolytes and that’s what the body’s balance craves.

  25. In the UK nearly all chickens are immunised against salmonella, eggs that are safe bear the “Lion Mark”. Though they recommend high risk people such as the elderly or pregnant cook them thoroughly.

    It’s worth noting though that it is possible to get a biotin deficiency from eating too many raw eggs, as they contain enzymes (which are denatured through cooking) which interfere with it’s absorption.

    Personally I love raw or lightly cooked eggs, and always have my scrambled eggs “medium rare”, and my eggs and soldiers runny.

    I don’t think immunising the chickens significantly increases costs, you can get 12 Lion marked “barn” eggs for about USD$1.50.

  26. I remember an early Mad Men episode that pointed out this change in the public perception of raw egg. I forget if it was caesar dressing, or maybe some sort of mixed drink, but a waiter cracks an egg at the table and adds the raw egg to something one of the characters will be consuming. They went a little overboard and have the raw egg dripping all over the waiter’s hand in a way that instinctively makes most contemporary Americans recoil in horror at all that supposedly contaminated and unsanitary mess getting all over the place.

    In their traditional form, egg nog, caesar dressing, mayonnaise, and a whole slew of other things have either raw or barely cooked egg in them. I don’t think this is true of the brand name commercial versions of the product you buy at the store though.

  27. Not mentioned yet – in the UK, they also don’t wash eggs, thus no washing off the bloom, thus they have little need for refrigeration.

  28. I’m very fond of tomagozake as a wintertime drink.

    Raw egg and a tablespoon or so of sugar mixed together and poured slowly into heated sake. A couple of them at bed time works great as a cold remedy.

  29. If the chickens were pasture raised, the salmonella risk would be much much lower (perhaps almost non-existent). The methods for raising chickens used by big agribusiness is the reason our food is so unsafe.

    1. biotin deficniency is thought to be caused by eating raw egg whites, yes. You forget to mention that Raw egg yolks contain one of the highest concentrations of Biotin anywhere in nature. so, one raw egg contains more biotin than is blocked by the avidin in one raw egg white.

  30. Eggs contain lysosomes, which are small units within a cell (I think they are classified as organelles). One of the functions of a lysosome is to engulf bacteria and viruses and break them down with the acid hydrolases – digestive enzymes – contained within the lysosome. This is how a porous eggshell can sustain a growing embryo in a salmonella-laden world.

  31. Some quick research shows that in the US eggs are supposed to be packed within 7 days and can only be called fresh for 45 days after that. But keep in mind that economics will influence which end of that time scale they are at, and not the way you might expect.

    Mass production now days relies on JIT (just in time) to keep costs down. The time product sits in a warehouse or on a shelf means you are wasting money. So the big producers (and really all producers) want to get eggs packed and shipped as quickly as possible.

    The stores also want to prevent inventory from just sitting there. So they stock as little as possible. But at big stores (and 7-11’s) some items, like organic eggs, don’t sell as well. Turnover is slower (which adds yet more to the cost of organic products of all types). The high volume, high turnover, cheap store brand will then probably be the freshest at a supermarket. I didn’t say best, just freshest. i.e Agribusiness improves profits by getting you product as quickly as possible, not necessarily as good as possible.

    Some specialty stores and might be able to have fresher eggs if they are dealing directly with farmers, but any organic chain store is unlikely to be fresher than a supermarket since it’s still the same supply chain steps, just a smaller supply chain.

  32. suburbancowboy: that’s so true. just look at e.coli in spinach, tomatoes, etc.

    as for myself, i probably wouldn’t try it just because of the uncooked eggwhites texture. shudder.

    1. E. coli is completely different, E. coli is an enteric organism that would have to be introduced fecal matter from either humans or other animals. Soil and water can be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. Salmonella enterica is an enteric pathogen which is carried in the intestines of poultry along with mammals, S. Enteriditis specifically translocates from the intestine of the hen to the ovaries and ovary duct which can naturally contaminate eggs. Realistically less than 1% of eggs are contaminated but it is still a realistic concern because depending on the serovar of Salmonella you get, mortality rate is 2-20%.

  33. Whiskey Sour w/ Raw Egg!

    It is common to see Whiskey Sour’s served in bars with a bit of raw egg white poured over the top and stirred to make a frothy head.

  34. why not buy pasteurized eggs to make this dish with? it sounds tasty – i think i’ll give it a try.

  35. When I was a kid in Japan, I would eat tamago gohan too… it was my favorite thing. I must’ve eaten that once or twice a day every day. Then my mom read about salmonella and didn’t let me eat that anymore. It’s been years since I’ve had it. Cry.

  36. The eggs in Japan (at least at the super market I shopped at) all had little individual stickers on them that attested to the fact that they could safely be eaten raw. Omnomnom. Although I did once get fairly ill from eating oyakodon from Yoshinoya. bleh crappy fast food donburi.

  37. Going off a tip from Alton Brown, I now typically buy pasteurized eggs. They are not cooked, and taste just as good, but they carry essentially no risk of getting salmonella. They cost about a dollar more per dozen than unpasteurized eggs, but they more than make up for it in shelf life – typically 15 to 30 days longer than unpasteurized eggs.

  38. For all you LA peeps who are thinking about raw eggs and getting hungry — the haru u lala restaurant downtown near central and 2nd has an amazing noodle dish with a raw egg dropped in for lunch. I was planning my next meal there while I was eating it and had this kind of not quite double food pleasure from the whole thing.

  39. The E. coli strain that is rampant in our beef is a concern. It can kill you. Salmonella? It’s unpleasant, but not deadly.

    Raise your own chickens. It’s easy – they will quite literally eat anything food-like.

  40. I think raw eggs has been part of “health” diets forever, add raw eggs to shakes, or as is.

    Also to, what’s up with brown and white eggs. Brown being organic? or simply another species of chicken?

    1. There is no difference between brown and white eggs health-wise, nutritionally or even, if I understand correctly, down to the species of chicken. It’s just that brown eggs make people feel closer to the farm, so to speak, because we’ve become accustomed to the white eggs.

      Also, people with immune disorders or otherwise weakened immune systems (HIV, AIDS, certain cancers, pregnant, elderly, etc…) are more likely to not be able to combat infection such as salmonella. I had cancer YEARS ago, but my (none-too-conservative-medically-speaking) doctor to this day advises against raw eggs, raw meat, oysters, etc., because my immune system isn’t “up to snuff.”

    2. Also to, what’s up with brown and white eggs. Brown being organic? or simply another species of chicken?

      It’s not a species issue. It is a breed issue, combined with feed given to the bird. A hen that lays brown eggs can lay any shade of brown all the way to basically-white, depending on her feed. A hen that lays white eggs can only lay white eggs. It’s not QUALITY of feed either, but just amount of something-or-other that some hens will extract and lay down on the shell, and some will just crap out.

      There’s a breed of hens at the Canadian Experimental Farm that lays a sort of dark olive green egg, although it can range from the usual dark olive to a pale spring green.

      There is no difference inside the shell based on the egg color, as long as they all came from chickens. They’re just a different color. You get charged more for brown eggs simply because egg companies have learned that they CAN charge more for brown eggs :D

      That said, I like brown eggs. The color contrast between the outside of the shell, and the white (when boiled) is aesthetically pleasing.

      1. It’s even more fun than that. There are breeds of chickens (auracanas and americanas) that lay lovely, pale blue-green eggs. Bantams, of course, lay tiny little eggs.

  41. Mmmmm raw eggyweggys! Just had two, the whites whipped, then the yolks and a dash of maple syrup, and a scoop of whey protein powder. Power snack! Based on my Danish housemates “eggesnapps” recipe, same but substitute sugar for maple syrup, leave out the whey. I probably eat 6 – 10 raw eggs a week, so far so good. Organic only. How long is this going to take to kill me? Gotta go, belly feeling funny…

  42. Lisa, it’s just part of the new American culture of cowardice. You are supposed to be afraid of everything, including food and product liability lawsuits.

    I’m in the USA, mid-atlantic coast, and I eat raw eggs and food containing raw eggs quite frequently. I also occasionally eat raw meat, drink water from a stream and eat fruit from trees and bushes. It’s what we evolved to do; constant exposure to common bacteria helps keep you healthy and strong by exercising your immune system.

    A proper Caesar Salad or Orange Julius requires a raw egg. A raw egg in a double shot glass, floating on top of a shot of fresh orange juice, is a great breakfast. Add a dash of Tabasco sauce on top for a traditional hangover cure!

    1. Actually, an authentic Caesar salad requires a “coddled” egg, not a raw egg; but that’s pretty close to raw, so I’m really being kind of obnoxious by saying this at all. I just felt a need to feel superior because of other things going on in my life at the moment that are bugging me, and correcting someone who is substantially correct already is a cheap way of patting myself on the back for how smart I am. Of course it doesn’t really prove that at all, it just demonstrates my need for attention, so I’ll just go back to my work and everyone should just ignore this comment and we’ll all be better off. In the immortal words of Roseanna Roseannadanna, “Nevermind.”

  43. Uh – you know, you can pasteurize eggs yourself at home. A sous vide cooking setup makes this trivial, but a big pot of water on the stove, a thermometer and some patience yields pretty darn safe “raw” eggs (the whites will be a little milky, but overall, they’re raw.)

    Here’s an awesome introduction to sous vide cooking, along with a ton of great info on food safety and pathogens, and what it takes to kill the little buggers! Scroll down to the section on Eggs near the middle of the page for the time and temperature info:
    Welcome to the world of hardcore geek cooking!

    1. Anonymous, thanks for the tip. I would have never thought of pasteurising eggs at home, but I’ll try it next time I’ll make mayonnaise. Should be easy, as I have a fixed pressure cooker. (Which is great for all kinds of vegetables).

  44. I make homemade eggnog every holiday season – 1 dozen raw eggs, cream, sugar and liquor. The yolks are basted in the liquor, but the whites are just whipped up and mixed in and consumed raw. No illnesses in my whole life or in known history of this recipe. However, there is definitely a taste and texture improvement when using the freshest possible eggs. Only very recently has the recipe been improved with the use of neighborhood eggs. (Well, it started out with yard eggs I am sure, just not in my lifetime.)
    @spaghettios: I understand that to be true as well, and that in the US, our commercial eggs are so heavily washed that they are actually more susceptible to yuckiness than if we just left them alone.

  45. The cooking I get. The refrigeration I don’t. If your egg is the lucky 1/20,000, cooking will kill it. Refrigeration will just slow it down.

    I never thought anyone would ever refrigerate an egg until I got married at 27. My wife was aghast that I had eaten unrefrigerated eggs til then. Whatever.

  46. When I was eating raw egg in Japan, I got strips of nori to use to pick up the soy-egg-rice amalgam. Oishi!

    Ito – Lisa, it’s just part of the new American culture of cowardice. You are supposed to be afraid of everything, including food and product liability lawsuits.

    Yeah, unlike Japan which it *totally* not phobic. Especially about germs.


  47. Cool, I’m going to try the raw-egg-and-rice thing. We keep chickens in our garden, and only wipe the sawdust off the shells, I guess that means no salmonella?

  48. In culinary school they had us get over the whole yuck factor when eating raw eggs because you don’t know if you have added enough salt to the eggs without tasting them. Every time I cook eggs, I taste them before they ever hit the pan. Obviously this only applies to eggs that are scrambled in some way.

    I do have a question about the probability. Wouldn’t each incidence be a separate probability like flipping a quarter? Each time you flip a quarter you have a 50% chance of it landing heads regardless of how many times heads has appeared previously. Therefore each time you eat a raw egg, the odds are 1:20,000 that the particular egg you are consuming is contaminated. Just wondering.

  49. Americans also have this bizarre superstition about the necessity of refrigerating eggs, when it really keeps them fresh only a little longer. (And it’s not like you have any chance of getting sick eating a rotten egg by accident – there’s no halfway with eggs, if it’s bad you’ll know as soon as you crack it.) There are many, many countries where nobody’s ever heard of refrigerating eggs.

  50. Here in Sweden the chicks are free of salmonella, you could eat the chicken meat raw if you wanted…

    It took the chicken industry years, but now all farms are free, and as a plus the chicks are free of antibiotics, which is usually fed to all farmanimals.

  51. I regularly eat raw or deeply undercooked eggs in the US (yum!) (probably 2-3 a week) and have never gotten sick from them.

    I did get very memorable food poisoning from a Subway sandwich once, and another time from some Odwalla OJ before they started pasteurizing it.

    You just never know.

    I might be dodging bullets, but it’s damn tasty, and I’m a healthy adult. If it does hit me I’ll just suffer a couple days. Meh.

  52. I eat a number of raw or severely rare foods all the time, including eggs, and I’ve never been sick because of any of them. I eat raw/partially cooked eggs over rice at a host of Japanese restaurants in Los Angeles all the time, and you folks who are in fear of the statistically small chance of minor illness got to get out and start to enjoy living in the world you’ve got a limited time on. There is nothing like a slightly runny sunny side up egg in the morning, and you’ll take my black and blue steak out of my cold, dead hands.

    I’m in Korea at the moment and very exited about eating a delicious sannakji dinner tonight (live baby octopus). The only warning folks who actually eat this (and not just worried spectators) is that you can easily choke as the still wriggling suckers fight their way down. No one seems concerned about food-borne illness at all.

    That being said, I have been seriously, seriously ill from food before. I came down with what I’ve long suspected to be botulism after drinking bad tomato juice on an Air France flight, and in a delirious, week-long fever, during which I was too weak and out of it to seek medical help, came probably closer to death than at any other point in my life. I still can’t drink tomato juice to this day without becoming spontaneously, violently ill. So regardless of what you eat, you’re always rolling the bones, and the food that mommy government tells you is OK may be the thing that kills you.

    1. You’re right that you only have limited time on this world, especially if you go around eating your eggs raw! ;)

      I’m kidding, kidding.

  53. For anyone who is interested, here is a link to a site that describes how to pasteurise your own eggs.
    There are two methods, using a microwave and using hot water.
    I always use the hot water one. All you need is an instant read thermometer. I lower them into the water using the plastic basket of a salad spinner so as not to cool it down too much.

    This way if I make mousse or mayo etc. I never worry about giving it to young kids.
    It is very simple to do.

    It’s at the bottom of the page.

  54. If you’re going to eat raw egg, I would not recommend you do it for breakfast, at least not if you intend to go out that day. You’ll probably be fine, but in case you’re not you don’t want to be at the office or store when the food poisoning hits.

  55. I got Salmonella once in Japan … so if it’s a 1:20,000 ratio … I think I’m safe forever more xD I never went out of my way to eat raw eggs, infact the one that got me sick was meant to be cooked but wasnt cooked properly … a part of my brain said ‘eh, you can eat raw eggs anyway’ … One hospital visit and a week of illness later … xD

    I’d still eat raw eggs :D

    1. Funny. Raw cookie dough is one of the things that everybody I know seems to ADORE but I loathe. It’s so weird to me to eat something that is actually produced *to be cooked* rather than something that is merely naturally raw.

      1. A friend of mine makes cookie dough specifically to be eaten raw. She uses powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar, and leaves out the baking powder.

        She also keeps it refrigerated at all times.

  56. I remember as a kid eating raw egg mixed with rice, sesame seeds, sesame oil and soy sauce and I LOVED it. Never got sick from eating it either.

  57. I eat fresh egg over rice all the time! Friend of mine recommended it to me after a Tokyo trip. Best power breakfast I’ve ever had. Never knew the name though. I’m going to make some now. The difference between expensive organic free range and cheapo processed eggs may not make a food illness difference, but using eggs from my neighbors chickens tasted WAY better than store bought.

    Any way, thanks for the article.

  58. My guess is that the precaution in the states is due to several factors:

    1) Amount of time before eggs are on a store shelf for people to buy – this varies by community, but most of the time, you’re getting eggs that were laid a couple of weeks (at least) before you buy them.

    2) Farming practices – big agriculture in the US is not known for its kindness to animals. Laying hens are kept in cramped quarters and often live in an environment full of chicken manure. While the interior of the egg will not have salmonella, chicken manure will. Eggs may come in contact with manure, leaving the salmonella on the shell.

    3) American paranoia – we’re scared of everything in this country, and we like to sue companies when we get sick or injured. These two factors equal warning labels on everything. (I am overgeneralizing on purpose here, k?).

    I raise my own ducks for eggs, and people think I’m crazy or gross for eating duck eggs (why is beyond me – they’re EGGS for crying out loud – who cares what kind of bird they come out of as long as it’s not the North American Poison Egg Laying Hen), but I’ll tell you this:

    * I know what my ducks eat because I feed them.
    * I know that their eggs are clean because I pick them up and clean them myself.
    * I know their eggs are fresh – I mark them with the date they were laid with a china marker/grease pencil so I know I’m always eating fresh eggs.

  59. @Xopher: Good News! You now have an official source when it comes to mayonnaise safety – The Association for Dressings & Sauces, http://www.dressings-sauces.org.

    More than 60 years of research has proven that commercially prepared mayonnaise does not cause foodborne illness. In fact, these commercial products are carefully prepared with ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice and salt to create an unfriendly environment that slows and even inhibits the growth of bacteria and, indeed, can kill it. Commercial mayonnaise and mayonnaise-type salad dressings also contain pasteurized eggs that have been heat treated to destroy harmful bacteria and ensure product safety.

    I encourage you to visit dressings-sauces.org to download the brochure, “Make Mine Mayonnaise!”. It’s chock full of information regarding the goodness of mayonnaise.

    1. I’m bitterly disappointed that your link didn’t lead to the Bureau of Mayonnaise Safety.

  60. I’m pretty sure you can’t pasteurize your own eggs. You really can’t test the methods of at-home pasteurization processes on a case by case basis, and I’m sure that companies using their own pasteurization methods are FDA/USDA regulated.

  61. I’m constantly hearing how Russian Roulette is a dangerous game to play. I’ve been playing it for years, and haven’t blown my brains out yet! Silly alarmists.

  62. I don’t even eat cooked eggs, unless they’re a minor ingredient in some greater food. Fried, scrambled, hard boiled…none of it works for me. The only exception is either a fried or raw (soon to be cooked) egg stirred into dol sot be bim bap with lots of chili sauce.

  63. This + natto = my breakfast fave.

    natto tamago gohan
    (bubbly natto with raw egg and chives over steaming hot rice)
    (Optional nori, kimchi, steamed okra, grated yam, …)

    The goo! The goo!

  64. Many here will remember that Albert Hoffman, discoverer of LSD, lived past 100 years old and attributed his longevity to eating 2 raw eggs every day:

    “Hofmann revealed the secret of his longevity was the two raw eggs he eats with his muesli for breakfast.

    “In an egg there is everything a being needs to develop — vitamins, minerals and hormones,” he said.”

    I do think it’s important though to be eating all natural “organic” eggs that do not have hormones, antibiotics, fake food, etc. pumped into them.

  65. The difference isn’t the time or distance from the farm to the table in Japan vs. the US – it’s the distance to the nearest lawyer, which the US has a lot more of….

    Additionally, about 20 years ago there was a chicken salmonella outbreak in New Jersey, and the governor banned the sale of lightly cooked eggs (e.g. sunny-side-up fried eggs) until it was over, and there’ve been warnings on menus there ever since.

  66. Just a couple of things I’d throw in: Here in Japan, they always sell the eggs in the carton with the pointy end of the shell pointing down. I’ve been told that something about the air pocket in the egg being on the fat end helps trap germs that might infect the egg.

    No, they don’t always refrigerate the eggs here and they’re fine. I often buy mine from the guy across the street who runs a small yakitori cart in the evenings and he just keeps the eggs on a rack in the open air.

    If you’re nervous about using raw eggs, try “coddled” eggs. Boil water, enough to cover the eggs. Turn off the heat and drop the eggs in for four minutes. This cooks a millimeter or two of the outermost eggwhite. Crack and use the uncooked part in recipes that call for raw egg.

    If you got “food poisoning” or “stomach flu” after eating something, it’s far more likely that it’s Norovirus, which basically means that the person who made or handled your food didn’t wash their hands after having a poo.

    Poo-related gastroenteritis accounts for as much as 90% of those types of infections worldwide.

  67. When I visited the Philippines, the eggs weren’t refrigerated either. It seems to be a North American thing… any comments?

    And, btw, I think the reason eggs are refrigerated in N.A. has more to do with our litiguous culture than the temporal length of the supply chain.

  68. Hmmm… the difference between Japanese and American attitudes toward food safety is interesting. Japanese emphasize freshness whereas Americans tend toward overcooking their food in order to ensure that there’s nothing living in it? It is definitely a generalization, but there seems to be be some truth to it…

  69. There is quite a low chance of salmonella being present in supermarket eggs when they are sold. There is about a one in three chance of salmonella being present in raw chicken in that same supermarket.

    Do you ever put that chicken in the refrigerator next to your eggs? Now your eggs are contaminated. This is why you need to be careful. If you cook them, it doesn’t matter. If you don’t, and you’re healthy, it still doesn’t matter; your immune system will shrug off the infection without you even noticing.

    If you contaminate them, don’t cook them, and are young, old, weak, or sick, then you’re dead. This is why they tell you to cook them. It’s simple and effective. Handling raw eggs safely takes more care than most people are capable of.

  70. I’ve eaten raw eggs nearly every day for 9 years. (interspersed with raw chicken, deer, and fish) nothing yet.

    @Jim – I never noticed that before… and eggs are on my shopping list today!

  71. Oh, and some Japanese do eat raw chicken flesh, if only the tiny fillet portion prepared when absolutely fresh, scalded in a boiling pan then immediately cooled in ice water. In Kyoto supermarkets you will find packets in the poultry corner marked suitable for this.

  72. How about a raw cow’s milk and raw chicken’s egg eggnog?
    I LOVE these for breakfast.

    It’s sad/funny how people think I’m some Neanderthal when I mention that I have that for breakfast. “Me Thak! Me eat RAW FOOD!” :-)

    I must admit that the raw milk comes from a friend’s cow and they never use nothin’ but what grows outta the ground. And the chicken eggs come from a darn-near-but-not-certified organic farm just down the road from our place.

  73. I am currently reading nutrition professor Marion Nestle’s book “What to Eat” and read the egg chapters just the other day. The book is about American food production – it sure makes me glad to not live in America.

    Some choice quotes regarding eggs:
    “Not all that long ago, when my kids were small, we would bake cookies together, and they loved helping me clean up afterwards by licking the raw dough out of the bowl…Times have changed and eggs are nowhere near as safe as they used to be.” p. 264

    “From 1976 to 1996, the number of cases of human illness caused by toxic Salmonella increased sixfold, and more than 75 percent were linked to foods containing raw or undercooked eggs. That increase has been attributed to changes in egg production linked to industrial farming.” p. 266

    “the likelihood that an egg might contain SE is extremely small – 0.005%… the USDA counts more than 70 billion eggs in the U.S. food supply each year…0.005 percent of 70 billion means that nearly 4 million eggs could be contaminated with SE [salmonella].” p. 266

    “Controlling SE is not rocket science; all it requires is immediate refrigeration of newly laid eggs… sampling eggs and testing them to see if they are carrying SE, and diverting effs that test positive out of the supply of shell eggs…With no such actions taken, SE spread throughout the country and more people became ill.” p. 269

    I fully recommend Marion Nestle’s books.

  74. Best sweet ever: Egg yolk mixed with sugar, stirred well. Huge favourite of mine as a child, but now the salmonella scare scares me.. too bad.

    1. funny, as a child in Brazil my dad would give me something like this when I was sick. thoroughly mix some egg yolks with a generous amount of sugar in a mug, then fill with boiled milk. drink and enjoy.
      I doubt it did much for whatever ailed me but it was a shotgun full of protein and sugar to the face.

  75. Raw eggs are awesome. Mix with natto and pour over rice. Dip sukiyaki in it. Pour it over gyuu-don. Get it in your Orange Julius. Make real eggnog. Raw eggs are good food.

  76. oh boy. thinking about tamago kake gohan is making me hungry and making me think of medama-yaki and also uni with quail egg! i’m gonna have one this morning!

    i grew up in japan, and had always loved the traditional foods since i was young, so the raw, partially cooked foods always appealed to me, even with western cuisine i prefer my beef partially cooked(i’ve never eaten a steak other than rare or blue).

  77. Here’s something crazy: You can’t buy white eggs in the UK (except at very few specialist shops). People got the idea that brown ones are healthier. And I keep seeing references to people putting eggs in the fridge. Why on Earth would you do that?

    1. Matt J

      Putting eggs in the fridge will increase their life. Also, it reduces the likelihood they will be harboring salmonella. I’ve never NOT kept my eggs in the fridge.

      In response to your brown egg comment. Nutritionist Marion Nestle provides the following advice in her book “What to Eat”:

      “The colour of an eggshell is determined by genetics. Some kinds of chickens lay white eggs, others lay brown eggs. Colour is the only difference; their nutritional contents are the same.” p. 263

      It’s a shame that egg producers in the UK decided to follow public ignorance rather than use the opportunity to educate them that the colour of eggs makes no difference.

      1. I tend to automatically put all my foodstuffs in the fridge (unless they actually fare worse in the cold). We’re one couple and it’s simply prudent to keep foods as fresh and long-lasting as possible as we never really know whether we’d use them up in time.

        Thus, eggs go in the fridge. I mean, why not, if the flavour and texture are unaffected AND the eggs last longer?

  78. My local Vietnamese grocer sells Balut, chicken and duck, unrefrigerated, (like that would make Balut worse?)

    (balut is fertilized chicken or duck that is boiled a few days before hatching, then eaten.)

    1. Yeah, but balut is eaten cooked, not raw. I’ve eaten balut on several occasions, and I’ve seen the uncracked eggs boiled for 15-30 minutes to cook the embryo inside.

      And it’s ridiculously delicious. Really, the most dangerous thing about balut (and eggs in general) is managing your intake so you don’t die of cholesterol related heart disease. That’s statistically a vastly more likely killer than some stray bacteria.

      1. mmm… balut. yummy. tastes great but it’s best eaten in the dark because not even mad photoshop skills could make duck embryo look appetizing.

        i wonder when balut will be featured in Boingboing > Taste Test?

  79. Stomach acids are strong. Just because you ingest an egg infected with salmonella doesn’t mean you’ll get sick from it. I used to love making homemade egg nog with raw eggs, rum and milk (not cream). Much more like a punch than a nog, but delicious.

  80. Could the Egg People by BS’ing us? it is amazing that so many of you just accept the number 1/20000 as fact. Do you not realize this number is from the American Egg Board. They are run by a the same agribusiness empire of egg farmers. I looked up their board on line and it is made up of mostly egg farm owners and big egg industry people. Gee you think they have reason to want to deflect your thinking from a real illness issue. i went ahead and googled a bunch of sites to see where this fact came from and could not find any recent fact info just a lot of places where its been repeated. I also looked for similar data and what I found was huge. Lots of info on egg risks. A USDA published egg document (fsis.usda.gov/PDF/SE Risk Assess Oct2005.pdf).
    says that 1/3600 eggs have salmonella (pg 72). It also said the problem is in both the white and yolk. It is full of info on eggs. Hey Lucy, I think the egg people have some splainin to do?

  81. My grandfather sucked a raw egg first thing every morning and lived well into his 80s- there were many things he couldn’t understand about me, my fear of this being one of them.

    Having worked in public health, our experience is that most food-borne illness is not the result of eggs and the like, it’s produce that causes most of it- my guess is that ground beef and other heavily-processed meats would be not far behind.

    Finally, the best way to make a proper hard-boiled egg is to cover them with cold water (an extra inch or two of water helps) – bring to a boil and wait 2 minutes. Then turn off the heat, cover and wait 12 minutes. Be sure to rinse well with cold water – works every time.

  82. Salmonella is found in all dirt. So where the chicken lives is not relevant. But laying eggs in dirt does not help. The thing is, chickens peck in the dirt for their food. So they are full of it. Eggs are not salmonella free. The question is how much salmonella do they have. Enough to overwhelm your defenses? Many people get salmonella all the time. They just think they have a case of 24 hour flu, but most cases of 24 hour flu are actually salmonella poisoning.
    Chickens normally are bug eaters, and free range chicken eggs taste better for that. But where the chicken ranges influences how the egg tastes. Near a city (100 miles of a big city) everything a chicken eats is air pollution coated, and you can taste it (although you do not realize it, you are used to it). So is the dirt polluted, and not just by air pollution. And city water is full of stuff you do not want to know about, including drugs. Country water is not pollution free, either. I have eaten food raised / grown in a mountainous national forest, far from any city, dirt never polluted, water from fresh streams. It tasted AMAZING!

  83. Hmm. I just asked my friend in Nottingham whether he refrigerates his eggs and he replied, “Of course I do. Why wouldn’t you?” So it’s not just a “North American” thing.

    /conclusive anecdotal evidence

  84. Raw eggs are great in good beer. Just carry a pocketful to your local pub and crack one into your glass of suds. I introduced this practice at Vesuvio’s in San Francisco in the early 60’s using Anchor Steam as the original medium.

  85. In the original “Rocky” Sylvester cracks several eggs into a protein shake, blends it up and chugs the entire thing.

  86. Always, always with the machismo.

    It’s these pussy Americans.
    It’s modern culture, why back in the day…

    Yeah, yeah, whatever.

    When I was a kid, I loved raw eggs. I made milkshakes in the blender and I’d crack a raw egg into it. When I learned (I was a nerdy child and paid attention to such things) that egg whites blocked the absorption of certain nutrients, I just used the yolk. The yolk is where the flavor is. The yolk is the sexy part, the yummy part. Raw egg white is just like mucus. But whipped, it can give a nice loft.

    I used to love raw burger too. Today that would be crazy. I don’t eat burgers anymore. I hate well done beef and I don’t want to get sick. I’ve had foodbourne illness, thank you very much.

    It’s not the eggs I fear, or the beef, but the corporations. I try to reduce my egg intake because really, they all come out of concentration camps for birds.

    I’ve raised chickens. I like them. They’re noble beasts. When I had a flock, I didn’t worry if my yolks were runny. I just slurped them down with gusto.

    Well-cooked eggs are kind of nasty. But in any supermarket egg is flavored with pain, and it tastes icky. And I’m no PETA person. I do all kinds of things that they’d despise (and vice versa). I just like chickens. And suffering has a flavor I do not like.

    1. So buy your eggs from local people, such as myself, who raise chickens for the pure fun of it. I don’t get rich selling eggs, but I enjoy having the meat and eggs whenever I want.

  87. Despite what some people may think about different processing styles, I’ve had the misfortune of getting sick from eating raw eggs in Japan. It was not a pleasant experience.
    I still eat raw eggs though.
    What can I say? They’re amazing.
    I’d also like to mention that these days it seems like no matter what you eat you’ll end up with cancer or some other horrible sickness. I say just try to be generally healthy and enjoy the food in front of you.

  88. according to the USDA, Americans consume, by capita, 250 eggs a year (about seven eggs every ten days). Multiplying that by 300 million people, you get 75 billion eggs consumed per year. Assuming that 1:20000 have salmonella (and, for super conservative estimate, we include disease inducing bacterias in that amount), we get 3.75 million cases of salmonella a year, which is a lot for a preventable disease that should not happen like salmonella. Furthermore, particularly in America, each one of the 3.75 million can be a potential lawsuit for egg producers or the cause for a giant food recall. Remember what happened last time salmonella was discovered in tomatoes or in peanuts?

  89. Stop messing up the probability calculations. For an even chance of getting a bad egg, you need 13862.6 eggs, or just under 38 years of daily consumption (#23 is correct here) and this is probably off by a lot from the actual risk. Cross-contamination probably has to be taken into account, along with individual immunity.

    It’s the excessive worrying that shortens life, not diseases. Eat it or not, there’s really not much difference (your insurer might say otherwise), but it suffices to be just a bit more prepared.

  90. I eat raw eggs almost every day, and raw chicken occasionally. If you never eat it, you will never get immune to it.

  91. The bacteria produces a gas which makes a bad egg float if it is placed in water. i love making real eggnog every year and always ‘float test’ my eggs that I plan on serving raw.

  92. If you have hot rice and you stir in raw egg, the raw egg is spread out over a massive surface area of hot rice and effectively cooked surely? The same goes with cracking a raw egg into a proper carbonara, the egg helps the sauce coat the pasta and the heat of the sauce and pasta cooks the egg.

    Not sure if you are actually eating raw egg if you do mix it with hot rice.

  93. I ate chicken sashimi at an izakaya in 2006. No ill effects, but it wasn’t tasty enough to bother with again.

    Given the chance, I drink egg sodas (soda water, sweetened condensed milk, and raw egg). Sometimes I have orange juice with a touch of vanilla and three eggs, blended, for breakfast. And I usually have my eggs sunny-side up.

    Hey, you can get awful food poisoning from a variety of things. Don’t miss out on the delicious eggy-flavor out of biased fear.

  94. as a child growing up in EU, we often made fresh whipped eggs with sugar, and yet I too have consistently avoided raw eggs when arriving to North America (I live in Canada now). I think the reason for it is the fact that food supply seems somewhat less controlled and prone to hazardous substances in North America then back home. Plain head of lettuce is a marvellous example of a simple food item I would have enjoyed with gusto in EU, and avoid here, because I am aware of the fact that it is far more treated chemically. When it comes to eggs, I have even less faith in the system. After all, in the last few years they gave us salmonella, prions, bird flu, melanine poisonings…I just try to keep up by being as careful as I can.

  95. well ,now i’m no longer be worried about eating raw brownie batter ^_^ i’m going to have to try the raw eg- rice combo sometime…

  96. My grandmother used raw eggs in the treatment of treatment for persistent cough. A raw egg is swallowed with a little salt first thing in the morning upon waking up.
    The cough disappears usually within three days.

    We also used raw eggs mixed with coconut sap and chocolate as a tonic. Convalescents take them before breakfast.

    My late grandmother Juliana Colipapa of Macaas, Catmon, Cebu, a seaside barrio in Southern Philippines, because she was the village doctor and midwife made us privileged children while growing up. Nobody argues with the granchildren of the only person in the barrio who makes you well when you are sick.

    I was lucky, I learned the various herbs and processes she performed to return patients to health since during school vacations I lived with her.

  97. @The cholesterol worrier:

    I remember reading a news article once about a guy who was addicted (literally) to eggs and ate LOTS of them every day for a couple of decades. His cholesterol was completely normal.

  98. I’ve eaten uncooked eggs all my life! Until I died last year from salmonella, which I’m sure was completely unrelated.

    142,000 people in America every year contract salmonella from eggs (according to the Washington Post.)

  99. Interesting article. I’ve always been skeptical about the fuss around raw eggs. My mother’s from Korea, and my maternal grandfather use to eat a raw egg (he’d just poke out a hole with a chopstick and suck the contents through) every morning. I know bodybuilders here will sometimes eat raw eggs (as the scene from Rocky will attest). For breakfast, I sometimes eat the rice and raw egg mixture you described but my family uses soy sauce with chopped hot peppers in it for that added kick.

  100. thanks for this! sounds delish, can’t wait to make it.

    re: the 1/20,000 thing, people really just need to remember that probability is a completely useless tool on the individual level. every time you eat a raw egg, you either are, or aren’t, going to get salmonella. doesn’t change with the number of eggs you eat. it’s always 50/50.

  101. For those confused by the idea of putting eggs in the fridge: In America the bloom on the eggs is washed off after collection, whereas in other countries it is not. Thus there is less of a barrier against bacterial contamination and refrigeration makes more sense.

  102. I’m a bartender in a craft cocktail bar. We use raw egg yolks/ whites/ whole eggs in cocktails all the time and have numerous recipes on our menu citing this. I have to explain to people all the time how this is not dangerous in the way they think, and far less dangerous than say, a rare steak.
    As for me, I’m up to sometimes 2 or 3 raw eggs a day, shaken up in an iced coffee or tea latte with some honey, milk, and a few dashes of bitters(and on weekends a shot or so of benedictine.) I’ve converted quite a number of people, including many tea and coffee snobs to my improved “protein coffee.”
    As far as I know, Neither I, nor any of my patrons, nor any of my converted family and friends have ever gotten sick, nor know anyone who has. I ask people all the time if they legitimately know anyone who’s gotten sick off raw eggs, and pretty much no one has been able to back it up.

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