Raw egg products

When you crack your eggs, Salmonella which can be on the outside of the egg can migrate to the inside of the egg where, if the product is uncooked, it can continue to grow and make the food unsafe. Salmonella can also be spread around the kitchen if hands, equipment and surfaces aren’t washed (and sanitised) after touching the eggs. If raw or partially cooked egg products are made, these should be handled in very specific ways.

Products that contain raw egg

Raw egg products are foods that contain eggs which are uncooked or only partially cooked (for instance, not hot or long enough to kill bacteria). Examples of raw egg products can include:

  • sauces and dressings - such as mayonnaise, hollandaise, aioli and egg butter
  • desserts - such as tiramisu, mousse and fried-ice cream batter
  • drinks - such as raw egg protein drinks, egg nog
  • scrambled or other egg dishes that are not cooked thoroughly
  • savoury meat dishes including steak tartare, japanese sukiyaki and korean yuk hew.

Minimising the risks

Raw egg products are high risk potentially hazardous foods, therefore food businesses and individuals who like to experiment and cook at home need to be aware of appropriate preparation risks and controls. Controls include:

  • Prepare fresh daily, consume within 24 hours and discard any left overs
  • Refrigerate immediately after preparation until consumption
  • If possible, acidify the product to help reduce bacterial growth
  • Always wash hands after handling these products
  • Always thoroughly clean and sanitise all surfaces and equipment used to prepare these foods

More specific information for food business on safer preparation methods for raw egg products can be found on the Egg food safety web page.

Raw egg products and vulnerable people

People such as young children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with suppressed immune systems are more susceptible to Salmonella infection because their immune systems are generally weaker than the average person. For this reason, and because there is always a risk that Salmonella is present on eggs, it is highly recommended not to serve raw or partially cooked eggs to vulnerable people, unless pasteurised egg is used. See the Food Safety Information Council’s poster on vulnerable people & eggs (PDF 748KB).