Can You Eat Raw Eggs?

It is not safe to eat raw or partially cooked eggs, according to the FDA. Even eggs that are clean and with intact shells can contain a harmful bacteria known as salmonella that causes intestinal infections. Salmonella is especially deadly in young children and pregnant women.

Symptoms associated with salmonella, also known as food poisoning, include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. The symptoms of salmonella can last from four to seven days and can result in hospitalization if the person does not recover on his own. Hospitalization is required when the salmonella bacteria leaves the intestines and enters the bloodstream and then travels to other parts of the body, which can result in death if the affected person is not treated immediately with antibiotics.

People with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to food poisoning from salmonella and should take extra precautions when preparing, cooking and eating eggs. Eggs should be purchased from a refrigerated case only if they are clean and not cracked. They should be handled with clean hands and sterile utensils and should not make contact with any unclean surface. In order to ensure that the risks posed by salmonella are minimal, eggs should not be consumed until the whites and yolk are firm and not runny.