Higher risk dishes
Between 1996 and 2008, 33 multi-person food poisoning outbreaks in NSW were linked to foods containing raw eggs, 18 of those occurring since 2005. Mishandling eggs is believed to have played a role, although it is not always possible to prove this.
In reported incidents:
- 11 people fell ill from eating Caesar salad containing a raw egg dressing or chocolate mousse also made with raw egg
- 3 children were affected after drinking eggnog made with raw egg
- 35 people at a party fell ill with the source suspected to be homemade fried ice-cream with a coating made from raw egg batter
- 179 people became sick after eating aioli made from raw eggs from a popular takeaway shop which had become contaminated with Salmonella.
To minimise the risk from raw egg foods:
- make the dish fresh, the day you plan to eat it
- keep refrigerated until ready to eat
- do not leave food with raw egg out of the fridge for any longer than 2 hours
- if not consumed within a day, throw it out.
When cooked until whites are completely firm and the yolk begins to thicken, foods containing eggs such as cakes, quiches and biscuits are usually safe.
Higher risk dishes for some people
Salmonella can affect anyone, but for children under 2 years, pregnant women, people over 70 and people with lower immune system function it can be more dangerous. That’s because:
immune systems are weaker
the impact of symptoms can be more severe
the stomach may have less acid to protect against bugs
recovery takes longer.
Example dishes below are sometimes made with raw egg and are higher risk.
You can enjoy eggs safely by using clean eggs, storing them in the refrigerator and handling them correctly.
If purchasing food from a restaurant or takeaway for people in the groups above, check whether raw or pasteurised egg is used in the dish. Manufactured products from a supermarket or retail outlet will show on the label if pasteurised egg is used.
More about eggs: