The 1970 Egg Products Inspection Act requires that all egg products distributed for consumption be pasteurized. With this process the eggs are rapidly heated and maintained at a minimum required temperature for a specific time. The procedure destroys Salmonella but it does not cook the eggs or affect their color, flavor or nutritional value. Researchers generally believe that if present, the Salmonella are usually in the yolk. However, they can't rule out the bacteria being in egg whites. So the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) advises against eating raw or undercooked egg yolks, whites or products containing them. This is especially true for people with health problems, pregnant women, the very young and the elderly. Eggs dishes are considered safe if they have been cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
You might be interested to know that it is not a good idea to wash eggs. Government regulations require that USDA-graded eggs be washed and sanitized using special detergent. Then the eggs are coated with a tasteless, natural mineral to protect them.
Raw egg whites contain a glycoprotein called avidin that is very effective at blocking biotin, one of the B vitamins. Avidin combines with biotin (or binds it) and renders the vitamin unavailable for utilization.
Biotin plays an important role in metabolizing the energy we get from food. Biotin assists four essential enzymes that break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Biotin has critical functions in amino acid metabolism and the production of energy from many sources. The concern is that excessive consumption of raw egg whites can lead to a biotin deficiency that in turn could cause health problems. Bodybuilders who eat raw egg whites or who don't cook egg white well enough may experience growth problems as a result of Biotin deficiency if their egg white consumption approaches 20 per day. The problems related to Biotin are eliminated once the egg whites have been cooked, since this process completely deactivates the avidin.