Raw Egg Consumption: Increases the Risk of Food Poisoning

Raw EggWhile most would be wary of raw chicken and leftover food kept in the fridge for too long, other food safety hazards are lurking in the fridge that most people aren’t aware of: eggs. Even as eggs are a staple of the Australian diet, data from the Food Information Safety Council shows that 36% of Australians are putting their health at risk by eating raw egg dishes. Maintaining proper food safety is essential, especially for households and restaurants that cook their food using eggs.

A Large Number of Australians Eat Raw Egg Dishes

Raw eggs are popular among young consumers aged 18-35, as 10% of Australians are eating them at least once a month. This is a cause for concern, especially for lovers of aioli, chocolate mousse, hollandaise, eggnog and tiramisu. These uncooked egg dishes increase the risk of salmonella contamination, calling for the need for businesses to obtain a food handling certificate and maintain proper food handling and hygiene standards.

Bacteria on the Eggshell Could Lead to Contamination of the Egg

Part of the raw egg problem is that misconceptions about dirty eggs still abound. While dirty eggs may seem to indicate that an egg is organic, it may prove to be more hazardous, in fact. Salmonella, a group of bacteria that cause food poisoning, thrives in faecal matter that may stay on the surface on an eggshell. In 2015, there was a salmonella outbreak in Queensland as a result of raw, contaminated eggs. It was this very event that brought the lack of food safety precautions to light.

Minimising the Risk of Food Poisoning from Raw Eggs

While Australian eggs are safe, they become a problem when the bacteria on the eggshell come into contact with the egg. Cooking eggs thoroughly, however, can kill any transferred bacteria and are therefore the safest course of action. Additionally, households and restaurants should avoid using cracked and dirty, store-bought eggs to avoid the risk of contamination.

Eggs are a staple in the Australian kitchen. So, while the threat of salmonella poisoning from raw eggs is real, practising simple food safety can go a long way in keeping dishes safe for consumption.