TikTok account @thatfalzonfamily is full of funny parenting moments and hacks. On June 17, Alexandria Bewicke, who runs the account, shared a trick for creating kid-friendly, fried "mini-eggs" — but experts warn that it may not actually be so kid-friendly.
The "toddler egg eating fun hack," as Bewicke describes it, took off on the app, amassing more than 12 million views in a week. Many parents — and people in the market for a new spin on breakfast — were wowed by the technique, which results in very adorable-looking, bite-sized fried eggs.
"So, all you do is take an egg out of the fridge, you pop it in the freezer," explains Bewicke in the video. "In the morning, you actually slice this up while it's still frozen. You then put it into the fry pan and it creates really cool mini-eggs. My toddler absolutely loves it and I hope your kids do, too." The video ends with her daughter clapping and blissfully munching on her handheld eggs.
"Omg! My partner has just ran to the freezer to pop a few in," one eager commenter wrote.
"Umm WHAT?! OK trying immediately," another said.
"You literally just discovered fire!" one awestruck person wrote.
But, despite Bewicke's intention to provide a cute breakfast for her little one, the hack came under fire for being unsafe. (She has not responded to a request for comment from TODAY.)
"Pedi ER doc & child safety expert here. This is not a safe way to prepare eggs. They should not be frozen in their shells. The FDA warns against this," TikTok user @dr.free.hess commented on the video.
TODAY Food reached out to a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service to get more information on cooking frozen eggs.
“Due to the risk of foodborne illness, especially among an at-risk population like children, it would not be recommended to do this method of egg preparation," said the spokesperson. "There are food safety risks involved, such as cross-contamination and under-cooking the egg, that could cause foodborne illness if not properly handled. It’s also generally not recommended to freeze eggs in their shell."
Still, one might argue that, because Bewicke's frozen eggs showed no visible cracks, they may still be fair game for cooking — but that's not the case. Because salmonella is typically caused by bacteria that comes through the porous egg shell, freezing eggs in shells increases the risk for food poisoning.
"It’s a bad idea to freeze raw eggs. When the liquid egg freezes it expands, and can crack the outer shell and inner membrane next to it — allowing bacteria to freely enter the egg and contaminate it," NBC News' health and nutrition editor Madelyn Fernstrom told TODAY. "Some can be hairline cracks (can’t easily see) but still allow bacteria in. And freezing does not kill the bacteria. It’s a food safety risk."
TikTokers who had reservations about the hack shared their own ideas for making mini eggs in the comments.
"Or! Or! Hear me out...Boil the egg for (about) 10 minutes then slice," wrote one user.