Deccan Chronicle

Why it's unsafe to eat runny eggs

Deccan Chronicle.| Mona Verma

Published on: July 12, 2023 | Updated on: July 12, 2023
(Photo: Representational/Pixabay)

(Photo: Representational/Pixabay)

‘Runny eggs’ are eggs that have not been fully cooked, leaving the whites and yolks in a liquid or semi-liquid state. While some people enjoy the texture and flavour of runny eggs, it is important to understand the potential health risks associated with their consumption. Raw eggs have the potential to harbour bacterial pathogens, notably Salmonella, which can lead to foodborne illnesses. To mitigate the risk of bacterial contamination and ensure food safety, it is strongly advised to thoroughly cook eggs until both the whites and yolks are fully coagulated. This effectively eliminates any potentially harmful bacteria, thereby rendering the eggs safe for consumption. Neha Bangia Gulati, a multi-certified fitness trainer and National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified nutritionist, emphasizes the importance of saying ‘No’ to runny eggs. She believes that consuming runny eggs significantly increases the risk of food poisoning.

According to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), pasteurization is a process used to eliminate Salmonella bacteria in eggs by subjecting them to high temperatures. However, in India, there are notable differences compared to other developed countries, as many varieties of eggs are available in the market. Neha highlights that pasteurization does not entirely eliminate the risk of Salmonella contamination. During the transportation process from farm to store, the eggshells may crack, enabling the entry of bacteria. Therefore, consuming undercooked eggs can still lead to illness. She emphasizes the importance of ensuring egg safety throughout the entire supply chain to mitigate the risk of foodborne infections.


Ensure proper handling, refrigeration, and hygiene practices.

Consider using pasteurized eggs, as the process can eliminate bacteria to a large extent while preserving nutritional value.

Cook eggs thoroughly until both whites and yolks are fully coagulated– opt for hard-boiled or set scrambled eggs, or use eggs in baking, as the high oven temperatures eliminate bacteria.

Explore the possibility of using egg substitutes in recipes. To sum up, runny eggs do pose a possible health risk, and so it is best to fully cook eggs to ensure optimum food safety

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