Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse. They’re an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals and can be incorporated into various recipes.
The egg whites without the yolk are mainly water and proteins, meaning you can get many benefits from eggs without the fat and cholesterol found in the yolk.
There are so many different ways to prepare egg whites, from scrambling them to using them in baking recipes.
But is it safe to drink them raw?
Potential Risk For Salmonella Infection
The main concern with consuming raw egg whites is the risk of salmonella infection.
If the chicken or egg came into contact with salmonella bacteria, it may be present in the egg whites and can cause illness. The bacteria can penetrate the eggshell and contaminate the whole egg, so even if the shell looks clean, bacteria may still be present.
High temperatures destroy the bacteria, so eggs that have been cooked are safe to consume.
Symptoms of salmonella infection include:
- abdominal cramps
For children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems, the infection can be more severe and may lead to hospitalization.
Because of this risk, raw eggs are not considered safe unless they have been pasteurized.
Pasteurized eggs have been treated to destroy the bacteria that can cause illness.
The process involves heating the egg to a high temperature for a specific amount of time.
Pasteurized eggs are available in some grocery stores and can be used similarly to raw eggs.
If you consume raw egg whites, make sure they come from a reputable source and have been pasteurized.
Liquid Egg Whites
Another option is to purchase liquid egg whites, which should already be beaten and pasteurized. These can be found in a carton in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores.
Check the label to make sure the product is pasteurized.
You can drink these raw or use liquid egg whites in any recipe that calls for raw egg whites.
It might seem strange to think about drinking egg whites, but for some people, it’s a convenient and efficient way to get the nutritional benefits of eggs without having to cook them.
If you choose to drink raw egg whites, make sure they come from a reputable source and have been pasteurized to reduce the risk of salmonella infection.