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Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating
User Rating 4 Star Rating (2 Reviews)

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Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs Photo © Danilo Alfaro

The Bottom Line

For preparing basic egg dishes, like omelets or scrambled eggs, the flavor and texture of Safest Choice pasteurized eggs leave something to be desired.

Still, Safest Choice pasteurized eggs provide peace of mind when it comes to food safety, particularly when preparing recipes that call for uncooked eggs. And if you're cooking for young kids, pregnant women, the elderly, or anyone with a compromised immune system, the safety you get with using pasteurized eggs might be worth the flavor trade-off.

Ultimately, five stars for safety and peace of mind. Three stars for flavor. Combined score: Four stars.

Pros

  • Safe for use in recipes that call for uncooked or partially cooked eggs.
  • Peace of mind from cross-contamination.
  • Pasteurized eggs have an extended shelf life.

Cons

  • The texture of the cooked pasteurized eggs is kind of mushy.
  • The flavor of the cooked eggs is a little bit flat or bland.

Description

  • Pasteurized eggs are gently heated in their shells to kill salmonella and other bacteria.
  • Available in regular and cage-free eggs.
  • Each egg shell is marked with a little "P" to indicate it has been pasteurized.

Guide Review - Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs

Eggs carry salmonella, which is the leading cause of food poisoning in the United States. Cooking kills the salmonella bacteria, but that still leaves two problems.

One, some recipes call for uncooked eggs. That includes recipes such as: And two, even when preparing cooked eggs, you run the risk of cross-contamination. A little speck of raw egg on your hands or cutting board can be transferred to something else and ultimately make someone sick.

The solution is to use pasteurized eggs. Pasteurized eggs are gently heated in their shells, just enough to kill the bacteria but not enough to actually cook the egg. Pasteurized shell eggs are safe to use in any recipe that calls for uncooked or partially cooked eggs. Note that poached eggs and eggs prepared over-easy or sunnyside-up aren't fully cooked.

Moreover, because of cross-contamination risk, if you're cooking for someone in one of the categories mentioned above, you might want to use pasteurized eggs anyway, even if you're fully cooking the eggs.

Now, if you're just using the yolks, you can pasteurize egg yolks in the microwave. But there is no way to pasteurize whole eggs (i.e., still in their shells) at home without cooking the eggs.

That's where Safest Choice eggs come in. For a long time, the only pasteurized egg products that were available to consumers were liquid eggs or liquid egg whites. It was hard, if not impossible, to find pasteurized shell eggs in a normal grocery store. And while Safest Choice eggs aren't available everywhere, they are getting their products into more and more stores (here's a store locator) across the country. And they'll send you some coupons if you fill out a survey on their web site. (I never actually got my coupons, so I can't totally vouch for that, but they say they'll send you some.)

In any case, if you're into food safety, Safest Choice seems to be a company that genuinely shares your concerns.

That's the good news.

The slightly less-than-amazing news is that the eggs don't taste that great. Or rather, they taste okay, if a little bit flat or bland. That eggy flavor you want from an egg was a little thinned-out somehow. Maybe you wouldn't notice the difference. A little salt will help, in any case.

The bigger issue to me was one of texture. "Mushy" is not a nice word to use for describing eggs, but it's the word that comes to mind. The eggs just weren't as firm as regular fresh eggs — they definitely lacked some of that "bite" you expect from a properly cooked, fluffy scrambled egg. If you were to whip the egg whites from pasteurized eggs, you wouldn't get the same stiff peaks. The reason is that the pasteurization process (which involves passing them through a hot water bath, by the way) affects the ability of the proteins in the eggs to get firm. Unfortunately, that's just the reality of pasteurized eggs.

The obvious solution: use regular eggs for cooked egg recipes, and use pasteurized eggs for sauces and other recipes that call for raw eggs. That's unless you're cooking for someone in one of those high-risk groups I talked about before, in which case, safety trumps flavor.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
Tradeoffs, Member mgatton

There is a taste difference, a subtle one though. BUT, I prefer the taste of properly cooked pasteurized eggs to overcooked regular eggs. Hands down. And I just won't take the risk of eating over-easy eggs or runny scrambled eggs that aren't pasteurized.

1 out of 1 people found this helpful.

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