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Beware of Bogus Internet Claims Stating Raw Eggs Are Safe
USAgNet - 07/21/2011

A flurry of Internet sites are touting raw egg drinks or shakes as 'primal and powerful,' with others suggesting uncooked eggs be blended with vanilla or avocado for a tasty, healthy snack and insisting that the connection between raw eggs and salmonella is a myth.

Suzy Weems, Ph.D., a national food expert and chair of Baylor University’s family and consumer sciences department, has this word for health-seekers: Leave no egg uncooked.

"Under no circumstances eat a raw egg," says Weems, a registered dietitian and a past chair of the American Dietetic Association's legislative and public policy committee.

While only a fraction of a percentage of eggs are contaminated, virtually every egg has had some contact with salmonella. Because the bacteria can cause disease--including food poisoning accompanied by fever, diarrhea or dehydration.

Extolling the virtues of raw eggs is nothing new, with nutrition guru/bodybuilding promoter Bernarr Macfadden advocating them in the 1890s. Modern proponents contend that heating the egg changes its chemical shape and destroys many of its nutrients and proteins.

"The protein profile in eggs is used as the standard for all other proteins, because it's complete enough to allow baby chickens to develop based on the nutrients. It's that good," Weems said. "But we don't need all of that. If you cook it, it's safe, the protein is still there, and it makes it easier to digest."

Relatively few people would be tempted to wolf down a raw egg, but those who love eating raw cookie dough need to be aware that it, too, is risky because it contains uncooked eggs, she said.

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