ZocdocAnswersCan you get salmonella from uncooked eggs?

Question

Can you get salmonella from uncooked eggs?

I?m worried about my boyfriend. He makes this shakes/smoothies every day and just cracks a raw egg into the mix and drinks it. Can he get salmonella from doing this? What are the symptoms?

Answer

A salmonella infection is a foodborne illness caused by the salmonella bacteria carried by some animals that can be transmitted from animal feces, raw meats, and eggs. About 50,000 cases of salmonella infection are reported each year. Your boyfriend definitely increases his risks of getting salmonella food poisoning from eating undercooked or raw eggs. Signs and symptoms of a salmonella infection include nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal cramps, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), and headache. These symptoms usually appear within 3 days of contamination and typically resolve without medical treatment. (There are many different kids of illnesses that can cause these symptoms as well). That said, not everyone who ingests salmonella bacteria will become ill. Those people who are at risk for more serious complications from a salmonella infection include those who have compromised immune systems or take certain medications. Prevention is obviously the key so it is important to make sure that you don't serve raw or undercooked eggs (such as sunny-side up). Once contaminated, salmonella also can be transmitted from kitchen surfaces and spread through cross-contamination. If your boyfriend has a salmonella infection and a healthy immune system, the infection may resolve on its own without medical treatment. But any time he develops a fever, headache, bloody diarrhea, or other symptoms, he should schedule a visit with a primary care physician to rule out any complications.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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