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Is it safe to eat raw eggs?

I looked up a recipe for chocolate mousse the other day, and I noticed that pretty much all of them have raw eggs in them. And they're not cooked.

How is this salmonella-safe?

Is it really safe to feed to young kids (under one)?

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Why on earth would you want to give a baby an empty-calorie food like mousse? They're already genetically predisposed to liking sweets, there's no need to compound that by introducing dessert before they're a year old. Just saying. –  Marti Nov 23 '11 at 1:23
    
related question: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/6142/… –  Jefromi Nov 23 '11 at 3:24
    
@Marti I don't plan on it. But since I have kids, I would consider avoiding mousse completely if it may be a threat. Sometimes, the unplanned happens. –  ashes999 Nov 23 '11 at 16:08
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There are a lot of foods you aren't supposed to give very young children that are perfectly safe for adults - honey, for example - for that type of thing it's generally best to consult a pediatrician if you aren't sure. Most of the advice we're able to give here is going to revolve around USDA or other government food safety guidelines which is not necessarily applicable to children or infants. –  Aaronut Nov 23 '11 at 23:20
    
Since all of the answers here relate specifically to the safety of raw eggs and do answer the question, I think the linked question is a valid duplicate. Please feel free to discuss on Seasoned Advice Meta if there's any disagreement. –  Aaronut Nov 24 '11 at 23:18
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marked as duplicate by Aaronut Nov 24 '11 at 23:18

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3 Answers

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Raw eggs are actually a lot safer than said to be believed, especially in recipes such as this one. Rocky ate raw eggs all the time! haha So please feel free to make the mousse and eat it too! Although cooking them almost always kills bacteria if they reach 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The most dangerous part about using eggs is something that many of us were taught to do at a young age, separating the yolk. Most people separate the yolk by cracking the egg and pouring it back and forth between the two egg shell halves. This is the easiest way to spread salmonella because it can hide on the egg shell or in the pores inside the egg. One thing to never do is wash an egg. They are washed after they are laid and a new barrier is put on by the egg company, some sort of hardened mineral I think. Washing the egg will make your situation worse by destroying this new man made barrier. For the last part of your question I suggest not feeding your baby and thing that has a small percent chance to have any bacteria, such as mousse, because their immune system is still developing. I would also choose not to feed your baby anything high in sugar, thats what Grandma is for later in life. The baby's tastes are forming now and veggies are the way to go with that. Need to teach them to like good for them foods. They like sweet stuff when they are born so they don't need to learn how to like those. Hope I helped!

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You mean Yolk. Yoke is a thing you put on an animal to pull a cart. –  Tom O'Connor Nov 23 '11 at 18:09
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I'm sure you meant it as a joke, and I think your answer is generally correct, but citing Rocky and no real sources doesn't exactly inspire confidence. –  Jefromi Nov 23 '11 at 21:33
    
Thanks for spelling correction it was a little late when I wrote answer. @Jefromi Yes haha it was a joke, glad someone actually got it. –  Michael R. Bailey Nov 23 '11 at 21:57
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The risk of salmonella comes from the outside of a fresh egg. Washing your eggs nearly negates the risk of contracting anything serious. It takes a lot of salmonella to overwhelm an adult immune system.

However, if I was being completely cautious, I wouldn't feed an infant raw animal products. The risk of infection is higher and more serious for a baby.

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If you live in the US, the eggs are already washed, and washing them yourself is, if anything, bad. fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/Does_Washing_Food_Promote_Food_Safety/… –  Jefromi Nov 23 '11 at 3:38
    
That doesn't quite make sense. Washing an egg and then immediately using doesn't give time for any bacteria to take hold and begin multiplying. And it doesn't take into account any potential contamination of commercial equipment or mishandling by shippers. –  mendota Nov 23 '11 at 20:55
    
I did say "if anything, bad", i.e. not good and possibly bad, however unlikely. I'm not the FDA, but my understanding is that if you somehow get something on the shell during washing, and it's cracked, you might get it in the egg, then if you're baking, it'll have some time before it's actually heated (or much longer for a mousse!), so it's possible for it to be bad. –  Jefromi Nov 23 '11 at 21:31
    
That's still pretty spurious; contaminating an egg by washing it? It sounds more like the federal government protecting themselves from liability, no matter how remote the chances. –  mendota Dec 6 '11 at 6:06
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I have made plenty of mousse(s) over the years, and have never seen anyone get sick. I have, however, never used anything but store bought eggs.

There is always a risk of salmonella due to raw eggs. Using pasteurized eggs is a pain in the ass, because it takes forever to incorporate air, and the retention can be awful.

If you are that concerned, heat a portion of your sugar with your eggs over a hot water bath (baine marie, double boiler), until you hit 110 F or so. That will kill off harmful stuff, and you will have an easy time incorporating air. And, as a bonus, it is fairly stable.

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