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.
asked byCaveMan_Mike (3275)
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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.
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.
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.
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.