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Eggs, yolk and salomonella - a discussion

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Folks. The question in short: In which countries is salomonella in eggs a problem?

In Sweden it is not.

Thus in Sweden it is a very safe and very sound recommendation to give cats raw yolk (=yellow* of eggs). For example mince meat+yolk. Or gruel on low lactose milk+yolk+butter+some dextrose+ a little kitchen-salt (salt may be in gruel, in this case extra salt perhaps not necessary).


Now. I had a discussion on a forum about salomonella in eggs - and cats. We did agree cats are a lot less sensitive to salomonella then humans. So while humans must cook the eggs, it is OK for cats to eat it raw. In any case, as long you dont overdo it.

This sounds fine and I hope it holds. Although I feel it is still difficult for me to wholeheartly recommend yolk in countries where salomonella is common.
And I dont dare to recommend it to nursing moms, sick cats, or kittens. I wouldnt risk.


So. The question nr 1 is, which countries are safe, which not.
2. Your experiences? Ie if somebody in "unsafe" country do use raw yolk to cats, and everything is OK?



*remarks: Raw yellow of eggs is good, but observe raw white of eggs is NOT good. It is not poisonous, but do avoid. If you are a whole egg-believer, do cook it first.
post #2 of 14
In the US the outside of the eggs commonly have salmonella and it can leach into the egg upon breaking... My vets have all seen cats with salmonella infections , plus the er vet said they test all raw feed cats for it ( the cat in ? was not raw feed outside freeze dried which kills it ).. Technically more is found on the chicken skin but I no longer give raw eggs as infection rates are higher than in my younger yrs ... I will feed farm fresh as it is suspicion ed that the modern belts are cross contaminating
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
In the US the outside of the eggs commonly have salmonella and it can leach into the egg upon breaking... My vets have all seen cats with salmonella infections

a) Is there any good way to sterilize the outside without actually cooking the egg?

b) Im sure the vet has seen cats with salmonella infections. They may also be real serious even for cats if not attended.
They ARE tough against salmonella and campylobacter, but NOT impregnable...
The question is how they did get it? By eggs, or by taking salmonella sick birds?
Salmonella sick birds are much easier to catch... So even cats who arent good hunters can take them. And such a sick birds contain LOTS of s. bakterias... Thus every time a salmonella epidemy is going among birds, it can be observed as some cats also do get sick. A wave of salomonella sick cats = a salomonella epidemy amongst birds.
post #4 of 14
here the cases were eggs or raw chicken by raw feeders or partial raw... Yes they have seen bird born too but the ? s were about indoor cats which many here have....

the sterilizing ? is a great one I will research , once upon a time I heard of using UV lights
post #5 of 14
I believe you can buy pastuerized eggs where the outside has been sterilized, which should greatly reduce the chance of salmonella contamination. I say "greatly reduce" instead of eliminate just because I suppose there is always a way that contamination of some sort could occur - while you're handling it, for instance, if you don't wash your hands.

A link -
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-pas...shell-eggs.htm

The inside of eggs themselves are sterile while the egg is intact, so there is no risk of contamination simply from the whites or yolk. The problem is salmonella on the outside, and then whatever might contaminate the yolk after the egg is opened.
post #6 of 14
While it's not a major problem in Germany, periodically there are cases of salmonella, and I therefore don't feed raw egg yolks, or even soft-boiled eggs, to pets. The same is true when I'm in the U.S..
post #7 of 14
This one I can jump in on.

Prior to getting injured, I worked at an egg grading facility as an industrial cleaner.... meaning we had to clean and sterilize the equipment used to wash, sanitise, grade, and pack the eggs into cartons. We had to do this every night after the working shifts were done, and we were tested regularly for salmonella, amongst other things by the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency).

The process of getting the eggs into cartons, then to the grocery store where you buy them:

- eggs are loaded on trays at the farmers
- trucked in to a grading facility (which is where I worked)
- eggs are loaded onto a machine, this machine ends up putting the eggs on a conveyor type belt and they get run through 2 different washers with food grade sanitisers in them
- the eggs come out clean, free of salmonella on the shells, and dry...
- in our case, we manually graded the eggs, meaning people stood overhead of the eggs, the eggs are illuminated and the ones with cracks in the shells are sent down one line to go to the crack plant, eggs with blood in them are discarded, and the rest are graded and sent to the machines where the cartons are.

All those machines that the eggs touch, the loader, the washers, the dryer and the packing lines, we were in charge of cleaning to ensure proper standard.

That's how it works here in Canada. The eggs are sterilized with food safe disinfectants, etc. that do kill off any salmonella on the shells.

Needless to say, I've had salmonella several times..... working there, its hard not to get it because we are not gloved at all times.

In my experience and professional training:

- salmonella risks are from the shell ( from chicken poop on the shell, or blood from the hen)

- store bought eggs in Canada and the US go thru strict santising and grading procedures. I do not know about other countries.

- cross contamination is POSSIBLE in the cleaning/grading facilities, but it does not often happen (here anyways, we are very strict) But an example of crosscontamination would be: the person loading the eggs at the beginning of the process, does not wash his hands.... he then goes over to the packing area, and handles the eggs. He could transmit it back onto the shell.

- I would not buy, nor eat or feed raw eggs directly from the farmer... as they do wash them, but not the strict sanitising that the ones in the stores go through. We have some heavy duty chemicals (all food safe).

- another contamination, the eggs are checked for cracks, because if the skin inside the shell is pierced, salmonella can get into the egg itself. Occassionally a cracked egg will make it into a carton.

That is a good reason to make sure you check the carton of eggs when you buy it. If there's a cracked egg, don't buy it. Or if you see marks on the shell (red/brown) don't buy it. You want to buy clean, brightly shelled eggs.

I hope that helps, and if you have any other questions that I could answer, feel free to ask
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
A very interesting evidence you gave us, Snake Lady. Tx a lot!




I recall an discussion on a polish Russian Blue forum. (yes, Poland has also some issues with salmonella on eggs).

Some of the breeders there use to try to desinfecate the egg shells with boiling water.
This should surely lessen the risks. But if it is enough, is another matter.


I shall ask again exactly how they are doing it. If by short boiling in boiling water, or if they do pour boiling water over the egg(s).
And if they have problems with the egg-shells cracking during the process...


I´ll be back!
post #9 of 14
From the USDA website and dated Aug 20 2008:

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Factsheets/...Eggs/index.asp

Quote:
Unbroken, clean, fresh shell eggs may contain Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. While the number of eggs affected is quite small, there have been cases of foodborne illness in the last few years.
Quote:
Bacteria can be on the outside of a shell egg. That's because the egg exits the hen's body through the same passageway as feces is excreted. That's why eggs are washed and sanitized at the processing plant. Bacteria can be inside an uncracked, whole egg.Contamination of eggs may be due to bacteria within the hen's ovary or oviduct before the shell forms around the yolk and white.
Quote:
Researchers say that, if present, the SE is usually in the yolk or "yellow." However, they can't rule out the bacteria being in egg whites.
post #10 of 14
I personally think it comes down to the old argument about our immune systems. We lived on a farm and ate eggs that were not washed in anti-bacterial anything. None of us got salmonella. We pulled carrots out of a garden that had been spread with cow manure 2 months previously and ate them and we didn't get sick.

I make a cake or cookie batter using raw eggs and eat the batter with the raw eggs - haven't gotten sick.

I believe it could be a problem with folks who have a compromised immune system or low tolerance to bacteria but for healthy individuals I don't think it's cause for concern. I think this also is true of our healthy animals. Outdoor cats probably ingest more bacteria than we can even imagine and they tend to be fairly healthy.

How many weight lifters and pro athletes drink supplements with raw eggs? Lots!
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
From the USDA website and dated Aug 20 2008:

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Factsheets/...Eggs/index.asp
Interesting since I really don't like egg white - I much prefer the yolk and often have it fairly runny. Hubby on the other hand usually throw the yolk out and only eats the white due to cholestrol issues.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I personally think it comes down to the old argument about our immune systems. We lived on a farm and ate eggs that were not washed in anti-bacterial anything. None of us got salmonella. We pulled carrots out of a garden that had been spread with cow manure 2 months previously and ate them and we didn't get sick.

I make a cake or cookie batter using raw eggs and eat the batter with the raw eggs - haven't gotten sick.

I believe it could be a problem with folks who have a compromised immune system or low tolerance to bacteria but for healthy individuals I don't think it's cause for concern. I think this also is true of our healthy animals. Outdoor cats probably ingest more bacteria than we can even imagine and they tend to be fairly healthy.

How many weight lifters and pro athletes drink supplements with raw eggs? Lots!
I think it is important to not overlook this part:

Quote:
While the number of eggs affected is quite small...
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
I think it is important to not overlook this part:
As I said, it probably has much to do with the individual immune system whether you are going to be sick or not. Is salmonella not already in all our systems?
post #14 of 14
Stefan just drew my attention to this thread, which I missed.

I have several times used raw egg yolks beaten into goat milk as a good food for sick and orphaned kittens, especially where KMR is not available (I used to live in Bosnia). It is also useful if a cat stops eating due to illness, as they invariably love egg yolk, and it is easy to feed by syringe. I always wash the eggs in hot water before breaking them, and break them as carefully as I can to avoid contamination. But I have never had a salmonella problem.

I think it is probably a case of risk judgement. If it is the only way to save a life, then the risk is worth taking. If there are easy alternatives and you have any doubts about the safety of the eggs available, then not.
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