Can You Eat Raw Egg Yolks? Here’s the Truth

Most of us have seen those movies where the character is training for some athletic event and they crack a few raw egg yolks into a glass, then proceed to chug them down. A famous scene from Rocky comes to mind.

This may leave us with questions. The main one being: Are raw egg yolks safe to eat?

Glass of raw egg yolks that you shouldn't eat
You sure you want to do that?

Raw Egg Yolks Aren’t Safe To Eat in Some Cases

According to Cleveland Clinic, unpasteurized eggs are not safe to eat raw. Pasteurization is the process of heating a food product at a temperature sufficient to either kill bacteria or bring it to levels that are safe for consumption. And even if the eggs are pasteurized, there’s still some risk associated with eating them raw. The fact is, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a doctor or dietitian who will tell you to go ahead and consume raw egg yolks.

Most eggs sold in supermarkets are pasteurized, but be sure to check them for reassurance. Here are some other safety guidelines to consider when handling eggs:

  • Do not buy cracked or dirty eggs.
  • Do not eat an egg if the shell is cracked.
  • Eat the egg right after preparing it.
  • Do not eat the egg if a piece of shell has gotten into the raw yolk.
  • Bacteria, such as Salmonella, live on the outer shell. Once the shell comes in contact with the yolk, the risk of illness increases.
  • Wash your hands, countertops, and any utensils right after preparing the egg.
  • Keeps eggs in the refrigerator.
  • Throw away expired eggs.
Glass of raw egg yolks that you shouldn't eat
Those egg yolks aren’t giving you extra nutritional benefits just because they’re raw. You’re better off cooking them.

Certain people should not eat raw egg yolks, including:

  • People who are immune compromised
  • Pregnant women
  • Infants
  • Elderly

It’s always helpful to know where your eggs come from. It definitely matters if the eggs come from farms that treat their chickens properly. This includes taking account of the proper vaccines, the number of chickens in the flock, the diet and age of the chickens, and the cleanliness of the facility.

Eating Raw Egg Yolks Isn’t Worth the Risk

Many dietitians will tell you that a raw egg doesn’t offer more nutritional benefits than a cooked egg. So it’s less a question of safety and more a question of risk.

Is eating raw egg yolks worth the risk? Not really. So you might as well just handle and cook your eggs properly.