How dangerous are eggs really?

Something about the whole pasteurized eggs craze has always bothered. Pasteurized eggs are a such a poor substitute for the real thing. And if you want to be safe, you can’t have an omelette, or any other kind of eggs where yolk doesn’t fully coagulate. Conversely, the risk of eating raw eggs has always stricken me as really miniscule compared to other everyday risks such as driving. The fact alone that there’s so much media attention when there is a new case, tells you it probably doesn’t happen all that often.



I’ve long wondered how big of a problem it really is. Well, now I found some numbers (in Danish, concerning Denmark). According to the article, there were 215 cases, of which 12% related to eggs, which makes 26 egg-related cases. Out of a population of 5,430,984, that means .00047873% of the population suffered from egg-related salmonella. The year before, there were just 100 cases, making 12 egg-related cases (assuming the same ratio).

4 comments

I think over time the problem could become worse, as salmonella has outbreaks. Don't know for sure though. We only use pasteurised eggs in cases where we eat raw egg. Hey, what's the deal with runny omelettes anyway? How can anybody eat those things??? :O)
By Robin Benson on Thu, May 25, 06 at 05:38 · Reply
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The Danish paper 'Politikken' has a story regarding the increase in salmonella caused by egg - http://politiken.dk/VisArtikel.iasp?PageID=455421
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Yeah, it seems it's getting broad national coverage today. There's two things about it that runs counter to my nature. There's the disrespect we're showing nature, food, and our own bodies, when we bring chicken up in these environments, eating bones of other dead animals and such atrocities, like we saw it in the case of BSE. A culture that focuses entirely on the size, the looks, perhaps the smell, and nothing about the taste, and how good it is for you. Where's the love of the food? (In Italy, that's where.) The other part is the culture of fear. Yes, life's dangerous, you can die in the traffic, or die of a heart attack any day, or for that matter get sick from the food you eat. Should that make us stay away from the streets or stop eating? Of course not. Embrace life, take chances.
By Lars Pind on Thu, May 25, 06 at 05:38 · Reply
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My Dad said about strange things: "it's a mystery, like any good sausage". That's a British saying, no double to cope with the fact that sausages, by and large, are just rubbish, and you're better off not knowing what went into them. If you take a look at most Danish sausages (watch out, I caught you thinking that there are much worse sausages in some places than in Denmark, but we're not talking about them now, are we?) then they are pretty fatty compositions of rubbish meat and chemicals to stop them going mouldy. I'm one for natural preservative myself. Salt is a good one. If you want to talk about fear, let's start looking at the issue of immunisation (ok, no time or space, so maybe not!). Beautiful photos Lars ... brings back memories ...
By Robin Benson on Thu, May 25, 06 at 05:38 · Reply
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