Last week the food standards agency in the UK announced that its advice on eating eggs is changing. In the past, it was recommended that people who are at high risk of infections or food poisoning, cook and eat their eggs hard boiled. These people included children, pregnant women and the elderly. This was because eggs might have contained salmonella bacteria which can cause serious illness.

Latest egg advice

The advice has been revised based on the latest scientific evidence. If the eggs are produced in the U.K. and carry the Lion mark, then the food standards agency are happy that these eggs have been through enough safety controls and testing to be safe. This means that even vulnerable people (young, elderly and pregnant women) can eat these eggs runny or raw!

Exceptions

Any eggs not from the UK or that do not have the Lion mark must still be cooked thoroughly for vulnerable people who at risk of infection and food poisoning. People who are very immunocompromised and have to follow special diets advised by doctors must still cook their eggs until hard.

Dippy Eggs

This is great news for kids that like dippy eggs and pregnant women that have cravings for runny eggs. Eggs are a great source of nutrition and protein and an easy snack meal for the elderly.

Egg Nutrition

Eggs are a good source of protein (1 egg contains 7-8g protein) plus vitamin D and B vitamins including B12 which is essential for our nervous system. They also contain micronutrients such as selenium and zinc for health. Eggs contain a fat called cholesterol which in the past was thought to increase body cholesterol. We now know that it is saturated fat that is linked to increased cholesterol not dietary cholesterol. Research has shown that you don’t need to restrict dietary cholesterol and eating one egg a day does not increase heart disease risk.

Egg Safety

The FSA also gives advice to consumers on the safety of eggs. When eating raw or lightly cooked eggs it is recommended to:

  • store eggs safely in a cool dry place such as the fridge;
  • follow good hygiene practices in the kitchen; avoiding cross-contamination, cleaning work surfaces, dishes and utensils and making sure you wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling eggs
  • observe ‘best before’ dates.

So you can safely enjoy your runny eggs, whether it is dippy, poached, fried or even licking the cake mixture with raw egg in it!!

 

 

Reference links

FSA: New advice on eating runny eggs.

Department of Health: Nutrient Analysis of Eggs.

PEN: Q: Are interventions to decrease dietary cholesterol intake (e.g. restricting eggs) recommended for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD)?