Total Recall

Total Recall
5 (100%) 3 votes

Salmonella, the leading cause of food poisoning-related death, can survive most common egg cooking methods—including scrambled, over-easy, and sunny side up. Cross-contamination onto fingers, utensils, or kitchen surfaces may pose an additional threat.

Discuss
Republish

Last year, a half billion eggs were recalled. The industry mantra remained: stop whining, completely cooked is completely safe. Notice, though, that they never tell you what “completely cooked” means. Research funded by the egg industry itself found that Salmonella can survive scrambled, over-easy, and sunny-side-up cooking methods. Sunny side-up was the worst. The paper ends bluntly: “The sunny-side-up method should be considered unsafe.” May be the best-kept secret within the egg industry. They know it’s unsafe, but are they out there warning customers? Of course not. And this wasn’t funded by some consumer group, some anti-egg group, but by the American Egg Board itself.

Earlier research shows Salmonella can survive in omelets and French toast as well. Even boiling eggs up to eight minutes straight may be insufficient to eradicate the threat. Bottom line? If there are high enough titers of Salmonella, no standard cooking method provides complete Salmonella destruction.

Fine, but what if you do boil all your eggs for ten minutes? Even if you incinerate them, buying eggs is not completely safe, and this is why. Before you reduce your eggs safely to ash, Salmonella can get on your fingers, your kitchen utensils, and sometimes stays there even after washing.

No one in their right mind would eat raw eggs these days, but you whip up a cake batter, and Salmonella can end up on your counter 40 centimeters away from the mixing bowl. And then it just sits there, and could still potentially infect someone touching that kitchen surface a day later. So the day after you bake a cake all the way through—heck, you could burn the cake, and still, someone in our family could end up in the hospital, grabbing an apple sitting on the counter.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Peter Mellor.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Rosalyn Davis / Flickr

 

Last year, a half billion eggs were recalled. The industry mantra remained: stop whining, completely cooked is completely safe. Notice, though, that they never tell you what “completely cooked” means. Research funded by the egg industry itself found that Salmonella can survive scrambled, over-easy, and sunny-side-up cooking methods. Sunny side-up was the worst. The paper ends bluntly: “The sunny-side-up method should be considered unsafe.” May be the best-kept secret within the egg industry. They know it’s unsafe, but are they out there warning customers? Of course not. And this wasn’t funded by some consumer group, some anti-egg group, but by the American Egg Board itself.

Earlier research shows Salmonella can survive in omelets and French toast as well. Even boiling eggs up to eight minutes straight may be insufficient to eradicate the threat. Bottom line? If there are high enough titers of Salmonella, no standard cooking method provides complete Salmonella destruction.

Fine, but what if you do boil all your eggs for ten minutes? Even if you incinerate them, buying eggs is not completely safe, and this is why. Before you reduce your eggs safely to ash, Salmonella can get on your fingers, your kitchen utensils, and sometimes stays there even after washing.

No one in their right mind would eat raw eggs these days, but you whip up a cake batter, and Salmonella can end up on your counter 40 centimeters away from the mixing bowl. And then it just sits there, and could still potentially infect someone touching that kitchen surface a day later. So the day after you bake a cake all the way through—heck, you could burn the cake, and still, someone in our family could end up in the hospital, grabbing an apple sitting on the counter.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Peter Mellor.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Rosalyn Davis / Flickr

 

Doctor's Note

Egg-borne Salmonella is a relatively new disease. Our grandparents could drink eggnog, and eat raw cookie dough, with wild abandon—without fear of joining the more than a thousand Americans who die every year from Salmonella poisoning. Before the industrial intensification of egg production, Salmonella Enteritidis was not even found in eggs in the United States.  By the beginning of the 21st century, however, Salmonella Enteritidis-contaminated eggs were sickening an estimated 182,000 Americans annually. Factory farming practices, such as forced starvation molting, feeding live hens “spent hen meal,” and overcrowding hens into barren “battery” cages so small they can’t even spread their wings, have contributed to the epidemic of egg-borne Salmonella poisoning.

In fact, just today, a story broke on Good Morning America about Sparboe Farms—our country’s fifth largest egg producer and supplier (until today) for McDonald’s Egg McMuffins. An undercover investigation found what the FDA noted were serious violations of federal Salmonella regulations. See my other Factory Farming Practices videos for more on the subject.

For more context, check out my associated blog posts: Eggs, Cigarettes, and Atherosclerosis, and Why Is Selling Salmonella-Tainted Chicken Legal?

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

15 responses to “Total Recall

Comment Etiquette

On NutritionFacts.org, you'll find a vibrant community of nutrition enthusiasts, health professionals, and many knowledgeable users seeking to discover the healthiest diet to eat for themselves and their families. As always, our goal is to foster conversations that are insightful, engaging, and most of all, helpful – from the nutrition beginners to the experts in our community.

To do this we need your help, so here are some basic guidelines to get you started.

The Short List

To help maintain and foster a welcoming atmosphere in our comments, please refrain from rude comments, name-calling, and responding to posts that break the rules (see our full Community Guidelines for more details). We will remove any posts in violation of our rules when we see it, which will, unfortunately, include any nicer comments that may have been made in response.

Be respectful and help out our staff and volunteer health supporters by actively not replying to comments that are breaking the rules. Instead, please flag or report them by submitting a ticket to our help desk. NutritionFacts.org is made up of an incredible staff and many dedicated volunteers that work hard to ensure that the comments section runs smoothly and we spend a great deal of time reading comments from our community members.

Have a correction or suggestion for video or blog? Please contact us to let us know. Submitting a correction this way will result in a quicker fix than commenting on a thread with a suggestion or correction.

View the Full Community Guidelines

    1. Egg-borne Salmonella is relatively new disease. Our grandparents could drink eggnog and eat raw cookie dough with wild abandon without fear of joining the more than a thousand Americans who die every year from Salmonella poisoning. Before the industrial intensification of egg production, Salmonella Enteritidis was not even found in eggs in the United States. By the beginning of the 21st century, however, Salmonella Enteritidis-contaminated eggs were sickening an estimated 182,000 Americans annually. Factory farming practices such as forced starvation molting, feeding live hens “spent hen meal,” and overcrowing hens into barren “battery” cages so small they can’t even spread their wings have contributed to the epidemic of egg-borne Salmonella poisoning.

      In fact just today a story broke on Good Morning America about Sparboe Farms, our country’s fifth largest egg producer and supplier (until today) for McDonald’s Egg McMuffins. And undercover investigation found what the FDA noted were serious violations of federal Salmonella regulations. See my other Factory Farming Practices videos for more on the subject.

  1. I’m a docent at a farm where schools come for field trips. I take kindergarteners through a chicken coop and I pick up a freshly laid egg and let each child touch it. Am I putting the children and myself at risk?

    1. You could lower the risk as long as hands are washed well after handling the eggs. However, studies on hand washing in medical personnel show that we don’t do a very good job at washing our hands in that when we lather up we miss areas. I imagine if we studied kindergarteners it would be worse. So I would recommend avoiding the practice. I have two other concerns as a primary care physician. The first is that you may be encouraging kindergarteners and adults to consume eggs which is definitely not healthy. For further information see http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/is-one-egg-a-day-too-much/ and http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/chicken-eggs-and-inflammation/. My second is that the kindergarteners may not get an accurate picture of the conditions that most eggs are produced in this country. Field trips with the added expertise of docents are a great way to learn. Hopefully your farm can include some tours of plants growing and their value in human nutrition.

      1. Doesn’t a low enough dose of bacterial infection, like salmonella, not cause issues? I’ve always understood it to be a matter of “how much” to be the issue. Like if I got a couple hundred salmonella bacteria in me, it should be fine unless I have a compromised immune system, but that if I have a significant amount of raw chicken, then we’re talking. No?

        1. Yes of course, I am not a microbiologist but I do remember that from microbiology. I am not sure how much is needed to result in disease, not a copious amount I assume. If raw chicken touches something and you touch that surface, developing the disease is possible, and that’s usually how it spreads.

  2. Could you please please please provide some research for the new trend “carnivorism” aka “primal diet”. Its a new scary trend of ex vegans (sv3rige on youtube interviews exvegans). Its about eating RAW animal products. I have red and watched your informations about factory farmed animal products and their contaminations with toxins and bacterias. This trend is about freshly slaughtered, grass fed meats or hunted animals.

    Besides the fact that its utterly repelling I would love to have some profound thoughts to defend veganism. I think our climate could really not handle a trend like that. If their are not enough studies for a video, I would really appreciate at least some brief words per email. Thanks so much in advance! This platform and the book are truly my bible! THANK YOU from the bottom of my hearth!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This