1

votes

Egg yolk safety question: yolks "swimming" in contaminated whites . . .

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 02, 2013 at 8:02 PM

As to the safety of eating raw yolks, since they were "swimming" in potentially salmonella contaminated whites, isn't there a risk of cross-contamination, no matter how well you separate the yolks from the whites?

If I were concerned about it (which I am), how long, and at what temperature should I subject the yolks to to kill anything bad, without killing anything good?

(I'm making a potato soup, adding 3 yolks 2 minutes from the end, while the soup is simmering on low.) I'll have to put a thermometer in the simmering soup next time to see what temperature it is at that point.

Thanks, Mike

Medium avatar

(100)

on April 07, 2013
at 05:43 PM

I wouldn't be terribly concerned about Salmonella if you're using organic, pastured eggs...

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on January 02, 2013
at 11:53 PM

Alas, food safety is only as useful as those who are supposed to practice it.

D41bd7b3d3b962eb0146f471eb632f56

(2029)

on January 02, 2013
at 10:40 PM

It makes sense to me now why salmonella poisoning happens more often in food service venues than at home. My university cafeteria would crack eggs en masse and mix them in a large container to use throughout the breakfast shift. Granted, these weren't left uncooked--they cracked fried eggs fresh--but I can see other food service venues taking a few extra liberties for the sake of efficiency.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on January 02, 2013
at 09:52 PM

LOL, that is fair. Some farmers have looked at me funny when I mentioned I often eat them raw, while others totally understood and thought it was normal.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on January 02, 2013
at 09:49 PM

You can't. But the contamination that happens when you crack them isn't enough to make you sick. The bacteria need time to reproduce. As long as don't crack the eggs, then let them sit on the counter for a couple of hours raw, then eat them, you will be fine. You will be cracking them, seperating them, then adding them to simmering soup immediately. You'll be fine.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 02, 2013
at 09:32 PM

how do you consume the yolk without breaking the shell? (Sorry for being slow). Are you assuming I'm boiling the eggs and putting hard-boiled egg yokes in the soup?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 02, 2013
at 09:18 PM

If you would like some additional data on eggs here is a post http://www.marksdailyapple.com/drinking-raw-eggs/#axzz2GqlIXkbY

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 02, 2013
at 09:06 PM

Well Mike your soup is simmering so lets assume its around 212 F. This site http://bakingbites.com/2011/03/how-to-pasteurize-eggs-at-home/ says you can pasteurize eggs by leaving in 140 F for 3 minutes. I think you will be fine.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 02, 2013
at 09:05 PM

ok. Since I'm not interested in getting salmonella or confronting a farmer and calling him names, I'll cook the yolk. BTW, I live in the city so the only person I could call names is my grocer, and I'm sure he'd say I'm the A**hole for not cooking it first :-)

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on January 02, 2013
at 08:55 PM

You are going to make yourself far sicker worrying about it than if you were to actually eat the raw egg, especially if you are a healthy adult.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 02, 2013
at 08:45 PM

I don't pick the chickens, just the eggs. I buy "organic" omega 3 eggs at the supermarket. I don't wash the eggs before cracking them. Would you agree that if you are unlucky enough to have a contaminated egg, that merely "separating" the whites isn't enough to make you safe?

Medium avatar

(2338)

on January 02, 2013
at 08:37 PM

its yolk........

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

4 Answers

best answer

5
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on January 02, 2013
at 09:23 PM

The salmonella is on the shell. As long as the shell isn't cracked, with the egg left sitting there, and you consume the yolks immediately, you run no risk of salmonella poisoning. In the bakery, we left the eggs out all day in the warm kitchen (you need warm eggs for cakes), and they were fine. If you crack the eggs open, they do come in contact with the shell, and do pick up salmonella, but they need to sit at room temperature for a while for the bacteria to multiply.

And it isn't the farmer's fault. Bacteria are everywhere, there's only things you can do to limit risk, you can't eradicate it.

If you add the eggs to boiling/simmering soup, that's more than enough to kill bacteria.

Edit:I just realised why you may have been confused. Let's say you buy eggs, and when you get home, you see that one is cracked. THAT egg I would dispose of, because I wouldn't know how long it had been cracked, or if it had sat out long enough for the bacteria to grow. However, if I got the eggs home, then accidentally cracked the egg a bit myself, I could put it in the fridge and even use it a few days later, provided it was refrigerated and I cooked it thoroughly. An intact egg, with no cracks can sit at room temperature all day, then be cracked open and consumed raw immediately, because the contact of egg with the shell as it's opened will not provide enough contamination. Food poisoning requires time+temperature. Food borne pathogens grow best at around room temperature. In your case, if you start with intact egg, the inside has NO exposure to the bacteria until you crack it, and then the soup is simmering, which is high enough of a temperature to kill bacteria. Just don't let the cracked, raw egg sit out.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 02, 2013
at 09:32 PM

how do you consume the yolk without breaking the shell? (Sorry for being slow). Are you assuming I'm boiling the eggs and putting hard-boiled egg yokes in the soup?

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on January 02, 2013
at 11:53 PM

Alas, food safety is only as useful as those who are supposed to practice it.

D41bd7b3d3b962eb0146f471eb632f56

(2029)

on January 02, 2013
at 10:40 PM

It makes sense to me now why salmonella poisoning happens more often in food service venues than at home. My university cafeteria would crack eggs en masse and mix them in a large container to use throughout the breakfast shift. Granted, these weren't left uncooked--they cracked fried eggs fresh--but I can see other food service venues taking a few extra liberties for the sake of efficiency.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on January 02, 2013
at 09:49 PM

You can't. But the contamination that happens when you crack them isn't enough to make you sick. The bacteria need time to reproduce. As long as don't crack the eggs, then let them sit on the counter for a couple of hours raw, then eat them, you will be fine. You will be cracking them, seperating them, then adding them to simmering soup immediately. You'll be fine.

1
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 02, 2013
at 08:32 PM

The problem with whites vs yolks being raw isn't the salmonella risk so much as the avidin (protein in whites) binds to the biotin and could lead to biotin deficiency if you eat tons of eggs raw. The heating deactivated avidin. The salmonella risk is best reduced by choosing healthy chickens....you're risk are almost zero if you do this and wash the shell.

There is a low temp you can throw the eggs in to "pasteurize" them ....but I forget the particulars. Maybe someone else will have that. I would say 2 minutes in a simmering soup should be more than enough to take care of the risks.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 02, 2013
at 09:18 PM

If you would like some additional data on eggs here is a post http://www.marksdailyapple.com/drinking-raw-eggs/#axzz2GqlIXkbY

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 02, 2013
at 08:45 PM

I don't pick the chickens, just the eggs. I buy "organic" omega 3 eggs at the supermarket. I don't wash the eggs before cracking them. Would you agree that if you are unlucky enough to have a contaminated egg, that merely "separating" the whites isn't enough to make you safe?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 02, 2013
at 09:06 PM

Well Mike your soup is simmering so lets assume its around 212 F. This site http://bakingbites.com/2011/03/how-to-pasteurize-eggs-at-home/ says you can pasteurize eggs by leaving in 140 F for 3 minutes. I think you will be fine.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on January 02, 2013
at 08:55 PM

You are going to make yourself far sicker worrying about it than if you were to actually eat the raw egg, especially if you are a healthy adult.

0
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on January 03, 2013
at 05:57 PM

If I wanted to consume raw supermarket egg yolks and was really concerned about salmonella (I don't and I'm not), what I might do is get one of those egg cookers that steams eggs to various degrees of doneness. The one I used to use took several minutes to cook 6 eggs to a firm white and warm yolk. I suspect if you cooked them to soft-boil (or even under), the steam from the cooker would kill any bacteria on the shell.

0
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on January 02, 2013
at 08:52 PM

Okay, so if the whites are contaminated by something that cooking can neutralize, then yes: you cannot "safely" separate the contaminated whites from the yolks.

I will still pound 3-5 raw eggs cracked into a glass on occasion. If I happen to get salmonella, I get to confront the farmer I bought them from the last time and call him an a**hole.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 02, 2013
at 09:05 PM

ok. Since I'm not interested in getting salmonella or confronting a farmer and calling him names, I'll cook the yolk. BTW, I live in the city so the only person I could call names is my grocer, and I'm sure he'd say I'm the A**hole for not cooking it first :-)

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on January 02, 2013
at 09:52 PM

LOL, that is fair. Some farmers have looked at me funny when I mentioned I often eat them raw, while others totally understood and thought it was normal.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!