Possible dangers of eating cracked eggs

21 November 2014
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21 November 2014, Comments: 0

The cracks on the egg shells will allow the entry of bacteria or other pathogens that will contaminate the egg and can make an individual sick. Even though cooking will reduce the amount of most contaminants, it will not remove them entirely. You have to carefully inspect eggs before buying them to ensure that you will not be exposed to food-borne illnesses due to the cracked egg shells.

Cracks and bacteria

Within an unbroken shell, the egg white and yolk are closely germ-free and hardly contain bacteria. The eggs contain high amounts of nutrients which is ideal for supplying the growing chick as well as the multiplying bacteria. Always remember that refrigeration as well as proper cooking can drastically reduce the chances of getting sick from just a small amount of bacteria. Nevertheless, eggs that are cracked contain a higher level of bacteria and not safe to consume at all.

Egg-borne pathogens

Cracked egg

You have to carefully inspect eggs before buying them to ensure that you will not be exposed to food-borne illnesses due to the cracked egg shells.

The most prevalent egg-borne pathogen is no other than the bacteria Salmonella enteritidis. It is important to note that bacteria on the egg shell can enter the egg via a crack. If the individual experiences vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, headache or abdominal cramps after eating eggs, he/she might been exposed to Salmonella or other food-borne pathogens. A doctor should be consulted if the symptoms persist for more than a few days or become severe. You can enroll in one of the first aid classes offered so that you know the appropriate steps to take.

Checking the eggs

When buying eggs, you have to inspect them for any cracks and verify the expiration date. In most cases, opening a carton of eggs and checking them for cracks is enough. On the other hand, some might not appreciate your action of picking through every egg before buying. In case you still end up with cracked eggs upon arriving home, you should discard them properly.

What are the other indications of contamination?

If there is a pink, lustrous or stained egg white, it can indicate bacterial contamination. The appearance of blood spots, cloudiness or clear egg whites is not signs of contamination. The color of the yolk tends to vary from one egg to another and not necessarily an indication of a contamination. In case an egg floats in water, it simply means that the egg is older and an air pocket has developed but the egg is still safe to eat. In case there is a green ring around the yolk of a boiled egg, it is a sign of overcooking and not a sign of bacterial contamination.

It is important to be careful when buying eggs, especially if there are cracks present. Once cracks are present, there is a high likelihood that the eggs are contaminated with bacteria. Even a small-sized crack on eggs can allow bacteria to enter, thus it is best to play safe and discard them.

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