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I have a friend that is training for a marathon and he drinks 6 raw eggs before running (Yes, like Rocky) - is this safe?

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Thw white part is more digestible when cooked. The yellow part is more disgestible when it's raw. –  Luc M Jul 23 '10 at 4:18
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I'd also be curious if it's helpful. –  Michael Haren Jul 23 '10 at 13:21
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That makes no sense. He should eat them after running instead of before. Eggs contain a lot of protein (i.e. the whites contain a lot of protein) which the body need for rebuilding, which it will commence after strenuous exercise. It is a good idea to eat protein rich food no later than one hour after exercise. Eating them before training just makes the stomach full. –  Pete Feb 14 '11 at 14:58
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Also, since some people are allergic to raw egg whites, an allergy common in kids, better to avoid it. –  zanlok Feb 14 '11 at 19:27
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Your friend should quit getting exercise advice from movies. Eating a bunch of protein before a run simply causes his digestive system to compete with his legs for blood flow. He needs to begin his run with easily digested carbohydrates a couple hours before, and then consume protein within an hour after the run when the body can use it to repair muscle. –  Carey Gregory Sep 5 '12 at 13:38

8 Answers 8

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Bearing in mind the salmonella statistics given above., yes it is safe to eat raw eggs so long as you are not very young, very old, or immunocompromised in some way--e.g. HIV, chemotherapy, leukemia, etc.

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Should there be a link here, or was "above" referring to another answer which is now below? –  Aaronut Feb 14 '11 at 16:18

I'd say it's as safe as eating any other food generally consumed rare or raw (beef, fish, oysters). It's certainly edible. I use raw egg whites in many things, but I buy them in bulk, ultra-pasteurized. I also prefer my eggs very runny. Yes there's an increased probability of food-borne illnesses but so does a rare steak or a medium hamburger.

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A medium hamburger hey? lol. Most people throw out or send their hamburgers back if it is even slightly pink where I'm from! –  iHeartGreek Jul 23 '10 at 19:18
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I used to. A medium/medium-well burger is so much better though. –  hobodave Jul 23 '10 at 19:49
    
ic ic. not sure if you can ask for that in restaurants where I live.. I think they would look at you as if you were crazy.. lol. –  iHeartGreek Jul 28 '10 at 19:08
    
This has so much to do with what kind of ground beef we are talking about. If it's ground mixed beef (what you get in the store) then it should be well cooked to be safe. E. Coli can cause paralysis!! If it's ground sirloin from a good butcher then pink in the middle should be fine. –  jcollum Aug 4 '10 at 20:16
    
@iheartgreek: and the restaurant could get a health code violation for serving it –  jcollum Aug 4 '10 at 20:17

Food safety experts and government organizations target their recommendations to what's safest for everyone, and would recommend against this. However, "safe" is a subjective term. It's all about managing risk levels. The odds of a given egg containing salmonella or other food-borne illness are pretty low. A healthy adult with a normal immune system can probably fend off any nasties, or at least recover from illness.

The source of the eggs has an effect on the risk levels as well, I believe. Organic free-range eggs are probably less risky than supermarket brands.

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Last time I looked at the numbers, I was as likely to get Salmonella from eggs as I was from fruits. So I continue making my mousse and tiramisu with raw eggs. There are in shell pasteurized eggs. –  papin Jul 23 '10 at 4:06
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There are different figures available but to quote one example: "Salmonella contamination in eggs doesn't happen much - one or two eggs out of every 40,000, according to the CDC and FDA. On average, that means one egg every day for 100 years before you got sick." –  nzpcmad Jul 23 '10 at 5:34
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Your stats are a bit wrong. at one raw egg a day, you have a 25% chance of getting sick in 25 years, a 50% chance of getting sick in 50 years... –  Chris Cudmore Jul 23 '10 at 15:17
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@chris: Well, no, actually. Neither calculation is right. If we make the assumption that 1/40,000 eggs is salmonella-positive, and that consuming a raw salmonella-positive egg always results in getting sick, the chance of getting sick (at least once) after n eggs is 1-(39999/40000)^n. So, 20% after 25 years, 37% after 50, 60% after 100, etc. The chance exceeds 50% around the 76th year. The calculations using n/40000 are clearly wrong, as you can get absurd results of over 100%. –  derobert Sep 29 '10 at 18:21
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@nico - I agree, and that should be an important caveat to this answer. The "organic" label says nothing about food safety, which in this case will depend in a significant part on the living conditions of the chicken. "Free-range" is relatively meaningless, since all that is required by law is "access" to some small open area, not that chickens actually go there (they usually don't). If you actually know the farmer and living conditions of the chicken, that's one thing, but the labels don't guarantee greater safety. –  Athanasius Jan 5 '13 at 20:28

It is relativly safe as long as you pay attention to some points:

Eggs should be as fresh as possible, so a possible salmonella contamination has no time to spread. Also organic or free range eggs should be preferred. In some egg-producing farms using battery cages up to 30% of the chickens are contaminated with salmonella and so the eggs.

Although other people here mention the improbability to get salmonella from eggs it is still possible. I myself got them from scrambled eggs hat I had not cooked properly (I think the eggs were about a week old, stored in the fridge and free range). I had the worst diarrhea in my life, fever up to 41°C/106°F and was in hospital for a week (read: not fun).

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Salmonella contamination occurs on the outside of the egg, not the inside: doesn't really help, since it's nearly impossible to get the inside out without having the inside touch some part of the outside. And there is certainly no guarantee that your organic eggs are going to have any lower incidence of bacterial contamination (often it's actually a bit higher, due to lower use of antibiotics). –  Satanicpuppy Jul 23 '10 at 17:16
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@Santanicpuppy: That is no longer true: "The inside of an egg was once considered almost sterile. But, over recent years, the bacterium Salmonella enteritidis (Se) has been found inside a small number of eggs." (source: incredibleegg.org/egg-facts/egg-safety/eggs-and-food-safety) –  Robert Cartaino Jul 23 '10 at 17:46
    
@Santanicpuppy I propably expressed myself incorrectly, but I did not meant that necessarily the inside of the egg has to be contaminated. But when the egg gets older bacteria are able to invade. I read somewhere a while ago, that chickens in battery cages are more likely to be infected because they come into contact with the feces of already infected chickens because of the narrowness in the cages. You're probably right though, that missing antibiotics can lead to a similar percentage of infected chickens. So in terms of salmonella, maybe non-organic free-range eggs are the way to go? –  Diskoking Jul 23 '10 at 18:47
    
@Diskoking - "free-range," according to the U.S. government, just means that chickens have access to some small outside area (generally gravel or dirt, not pasture). The vast majority of the time, the chickens choose not to visit it. "Free-range" says nothing about the average living conditions that the chickens spend most time in. Unless you've seen the farm, there's little guarantee that the eggs will be any better or safer. –  Athanasius Jan 5 '13 at 20:35

If you're worried, you can dip the eggs into boiling water for, say, 10 seconds to sterilise the outside of the shell. As Robert Cartaino points out above, though, there might still be bacteria inside.

FWIW I've made mayonnaise many times without any ill effects.

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In the UK it is safe from a salmonella standpoint (assuming the eggs are lion branded).

The lion branch mark (applied to each individual egg) means that the chickens they come from are salmonella free (I assume they have been fed the antibiotic or anti viral or whatever it is)

I agree with the others that other things will have a bearing - age of egg in particular

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There are pasteurized raw eggs that are safe to eat. One brand is http://www.safeeggs.com/

Or egg beaters I think

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Egg beaters? Can you expand on that please? –  nico Mar 23 '13 at 6:37
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Egg Beaters is a brand of egg white based egg substitute in the available in the US. –  SAJ14SAJ Mar 23 '13 at 11:04

having a one raw eggs per day is totally fine.

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Based on what evidence or documentation? –  SAJ14SAJ Dec 9 '13 at 4:08

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