Cooking eggs safely

Eating eggs raw or with runny yolks, can cause food poisoning especially for babies, toddlers, pregnant women or people who are unwell.

Eggs that have not been cooked thoroughly can contain harmful bacteria which are most likely to make these groups of people seriously ill from food poisoning.

Tips for cooking eggs safely

If you are cooking eggs for anyone in these groups, make sure that they are cooked thoroughly until the yolk is solid as this will kill any bacteria.

You should also avoid giving people in these groups any food containing raw or lightly cooked egg, such as:

  • Home-made mayonnaise
  • BĂ©arnaise and hollandaise sauces
  • Ice cream
  • Icing
  • Mousse
  • Some desserts

If you are cooking a dish containing eggs, make sure you cook it until the food is piping hot all the way through.

When you buy commercially produced mayonnaise, salad dressings, sauces, ice cream, desserts, or ready-made icing in the supermarket, these will almost always have been made using pasteurised egg and are therefore safe to eat because pasteurisation kills bacteria. Check the label but ask if you're not sure.

Finally, if you're not sure whether a food contains raw egg when you are eating out, ask the person serving you.