Mom's Viral 'Mini Egg' TikTok Hack Could Get Kids Sick, Experts Say
Parents on social media are always coming up with fun, innovative ways to present healthy foods to toddlers, so it's no surprise that TikTokker Alexandria Bewicke, who runs the account @thatfalzonfamily, recently shared a tip for creating fried "mini-eggs."
In a TikTok posted in mid-June that has received millions of views, Bewicke explained that she freezes an egg in its shell, then takes it out, slices it up, fries the slices, and presents them to her toddler. "It creates really cool mini-eggs," noted Bewicke. "My toddler absolutely loves it and I hope your kids do, too."
Viewers gushed that the trick was something they'd need to "try immediately" with their little ones. "Omg! My partner has just ran to the freezer to pop a few in," one commenter wrote.
But experts warn that as cute as "mini-eggs" might look, they present a food safety danger to kids.
"When raw eggs are frozen in their shells and then reheated from frozen, they may not reach a high enough temperature to cook thoroughly," explains Whitney Casares, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P, creator of Modern Mommy Doc and author of The Working Mom Blueprint: Winning at Parenting Without Losing Yourself. "As a result, parts of the egg may still be raw, increasing the risk for salmonella poisoning when eaten."
A spokesperson for the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) agrees, also explaining to Parents.com that it's generally not recommended to freeze eggs in their shell, because the shell can crack and allow bacteria exposure.
FSIS recommends that parents follow the four steps to food safety, making sure to wash hands, clean and sanitize all utensils used, and fully cook an egg until the white and yolk are firm.
Dr. Casares offers a much safer alternative to this TikTok trend: hard-boil an egg until the white and yolk are firm, then slice—and fry—it.
She warns parents to be careful when following TikTok trends that involve preparing cooking raw foods like meat or eggs, adding, "Since the original TikTok creators aren't necessarily medical or nutrition professionals, their suggestions for food preparation could lead to unintended health consequences."