A group of egg-perts were called on to perform an unlikely task this year; research the risks of hearing loss from a hard-boiled egg.
The request was made after a lawsuit was filed against a fine dining establishment for serving an egg-explosion victim an ill-fated hard-boiled egg.
The full account is something like an episode of Myth Busters and was recently published in Popular Mechanics for its absurdity. With so many people buying and hard-boiling eggs this time of year, it’s the perfect time to talk about egg-plosion risks.
According to the report, a restaurant patron called his waiter over after receiving the requested egg. He complained his meal was cold, and that he would like the waiter to heat up his egg.
The waiter returned moments later with the re-heated egg. As he set the plate gently in front of the diner, the egg exploded all over the patron and table. The diner decided to sue for burns and hearing loss incurred during this egg-plosive experience.
We don’t take this diner’s pain lightly in the least, but given that hearing loss is harder to detect than burns, we understand why the legal team needed to bring in experts in to examine this extraordinary event.
We know that sudden loud events can cause hearing loss, but was an egg exploding one of them? What was the evidence, and could an egg exert enough force to damage the ears? If the diner was mistaken, they hoped that their tests would egg-pose the claims as preposterous.
They found that each egg-explosion is different. Sometimes microwaved eggs didn’t even explode. The extent of the egg-plosion seemed to vary from egg to egg regardless of numerous test variables.
But after their tests, the scientists determined that egg-plosions cannot exert enough force to cause hearing loss.
What Causes Egg-plosions
The most common egg-plosions happen after someone microwaves an egg. Microwaves work by quickly heating the water inside a food item.
It’s believed that microwaving causes pockets of water inside the egg to super-heat. When water super-heats it can suddenly and violently begin to boil.
In a chain reaction, the rest of the egg over-heats too quickly for the egg fibers to adjust. An egg-plosion results.
Any egg may exhibit this same behavior if cooked in the microwave.
What Are the Risks
Hearing loss is not a risk of eggs exploding for breakfast, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t get injured by an exploding ovum.
You can indeed be burned when the explosion occurs. Depending on your proximity to the egg, if the egg is boiling, the burns could be severe. Heating an egg in its shell can be especially dangerous as the shell can act as shrapnel. It could even enter the eye, and such cases have been reported.
Beyond the physical damage that an egg can cause, eggs can be very messy to clean up. Eggs are also oily, so if they get on the floor, they could create a fall risk.
How Can You Prevent Egg-Plosions
To avoid experiencing such an occurrence, don’t microwave eggs in their whole form even when reheating with the shell removed. Buy a microwave egg poacher if microwaves are your only option.
Some people will insist on continuing to microwave eggs because they’ve been fortunate enough never to experience this. That doesn’t mean their luck will run out, but they may want to reconsider.
Events That Will Lead to Hearing Loss
While exploding eggs aren’t a cause of sudden hearing loss or even temporary hearing loss, that doesn’t mean simple events can’t harm your hearing.
Tons of small everyday noises can slowly impact your hearing, and you should be cautious of them. Sounds like children’s toys, health clubs, and car stereos can all damage your hearing if you’re exposed fora long enough period of time.
If you suspect that you’re suffering from hearing loss or simply want to get a checkup, see a hearing care specialist. They can help you identify any issues you may have and prevent further damage.