Eating Raw Eggs, Safe or Harmful?

Some people believe that eating raw eggs can increase stamina and improve body fitness. However, there is also an assumption that eating raw eggs can increase the risk of getting infected with bacteria Salmonella. So, is eating raw eggs actually safe or dangerous?

Eggs are a source of animal protein that is cheap, practical, and easy to process. Besides being able to be created into a variety of cooking menus, eggs also have high nutritional value.

In a raw egg there are approximately 70-75 calories, 6-6.5 grams of protein, 4-5 grams of fat, 350 mg of cholesterol, and 1.6 grams of saturated fat. Eggs also contain various vitamins and minerals such as:

  • Vitamin A
  • B vitamins
  • Vitamin E
  • Folate
  • Selenium
  • Phosphor
  • Potassium
  • Iron

Eggs also contain antioxidants as well as omega-3 fatty acids and choline which are good for nerve and brain health. Thanks to its high nutritional content and affordable price, eggs are a favorite food for many people.

Although eggs are generally consumed by cooking until cooked or half cooked first, there are some people who eat raw eggs because they are believed to have better nutritional value. Raw eggs are often consumed as a mixture of herbs or processed into mayonnaise.

Is it true that the content of raw eggs is higher than cooked eggs?

Actually, the nutritional content of cooked eggs is not much different from raw eggs. The cooking process can indeed reduce the nutritional content in eggs such as vitamin A, vitamin B, phosphorus, potassium, and antioxidants.

However, the process of cooking eggs does not reduce the nutritional content much, so that the nutritional value of cooked eggs remains high.

In contrast, eating raw eggs actually affects the absorption of protein by the body. A study found that protein in cooked eggs can be absorbed by the body as much as 90 percent compared to protein in raw eggs which is only absorbed by 50 percent.

This is because in the cooking process, the hot temperature changes the structure of the protein in the egg so that it is easier for the body to digest. So that the eggs do not lose a lot of nutrients, avoid cooking eggs for too long at high temperatures. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes, then serve as soon as the eggs look cooked through.

Risks of Eating Raw Eggs

Consumption of raw eggs, especially if the eggs were farmed or packaged in an unhygienic manner, can increase your risk of catching a bacterial infection Salmonella. These bacteria are usually found on the egg shell, but sometimes can also enter the egg through small cracks that are sometimes invisible.

Eating contaminated food Salmonella can cause food poisoning and typhoid (typhoid fever). This condition can cause you to have diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and fever.

Symptoms of food poisoning or typhus can be serious and dangerous in people who have weak immune systems, such as the elderly, toddlers, or people who have co-morbidities such as diabetes, cancer, and HIV infection. Bacterial infection Salmonella from raw eggs can also be dangerous if it occurs in pregnant women.

Bacterial infections from raw eggs that are not treated immediately can spread from the intestines to the blood vessels and cause severe infection or sepsis. This condition can be fatal for the sufferer. For pregnant women, bacterial infections Salmonella can increase the risk of preterm labor, miscarriage, or fetal compromise.

To prevent health problems from eating raw eggs, it is recommended that you cook the eggs thoroughly before consuming them. Hot temperatures when cooking have been proven to kill bacteria so eggs are safe for consumption.

However, if you plan to make preparations such as cream or mayonnaise that require the use of raw eggs, use eggs that have been through the pasteurization process.

Pasteurized eggs can be found in supermarkets. Usually, this type of egg is packaged, labeled, and bearing the production and expiration date.

Tips for Storing and Processing Eggs

Apart from not eating raw eggs, you can also prevent bacterial infections from consuming unhygienic eggs by doing good egg storage and processing.

The following are some tips for storing and processing eggs properly so that they are safe for consumption:

1. Wash hands before and after handling eggs

When you want to clean and process eggs, don't forget to wash your hands with soap and running water. This is important to prevent the transfer of bacteria from the eggshell to your hands.

2. Be careful in choosing eggs

When buying eggs, pay attention to each grain. Choose eggs that have a smooth surface, do not smell, and the shell is clean, intact or not cracked. Do not choose eggs that have cracked because the eggs are at risk of being contaminated with bacteria.

If you buy prepackaged eggs, pay attention to the production date. Eggs are usually safe to eat up to 3 weeks after the production date.

3. Clean and store eggs properly

Before storing eggs, wash them by soaking them in a container of warm water for a few minutes, then pat dry. After that, store the cleaned eggs in a closed container, then place them in the refrigerator.

4. Cook the eggs until cooked

To make sure the eggs are perfectly cooked, you can process the eggs by boiling them for 6–10 minutes or frying the eggs until the whites and yolks are cooked and solid.

Not only by avoiding eating raw eggs, you should also refrain from eating undercooked eggs, because these eggs are not completely free from bacteria. Salmonella.

If you experience symptoms of fever, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea after eating raw or undercooked eggs, immediately consult a doctor for proper treatment.