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Foods -- Eggs

Can pasteurized in the shell eggs be used in uncooked foods like ice cream, pies, and other desserts?

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These eggs are pasteurized (the process of destroying harmful microorganisms) and so can be used raw. The potential problem with these eggs is just like any other product - contamination during handling. Therefore, when they are used, apply other safe food handling principles. Use clean surfaces, utensils, and hands to prevent the introduction of other contaminants. Also, these eggs are pasteurized and not commercially sterile. Therefore, they must be refrigerated. Processing procedures. The eggs are heated in the shell in a water tank at about 136 F. It takes about 30 minutes for the center of the egg to get to 135 F and then they are held for 30 minutes. They are then removed from the water bath and cooled in a refrigerator. This process results in a 5-log reduction in Salmonella thus reducing the bacterial load from 100,000 to 1. Supposedly, one cannot tell that the eggs have been "heated." The cloudiness, etc., is simply a result of the eggs being heated and is not an indication of poor quality.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, NC State University in July 2004

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