It's in the Bag, Gluten Free & The WoW Diet

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pasteurizing Eggs

Ever wanted to make a recipe with raw eggs and you worried about getting sick? Maybe you have a thing for raw cookie dough, but your mother always warned you about bacteria? We have your solution.

Salmonella Entertidis is a bacteria that can infect chicken's ovaries. The bacteria gets "packaged" with the egg yolk when the white and shell form around it, making the egg contaminated before it is laid. About one egg in every 20,000 actually contains salmonella bacteria, but if it's there, it's dangerous. There are ways prevent illness. According to the FDA, refrigerating eggs below 40 degrees Fahrenheit limits Salmonella growth and fully cooking eggs destroys the bacteria.

I know what you're saying, "that's well and good, but I don't want to give up raw cookie dough!" (I know I don't) the good news is, you can pasteurize eggs at home, and it's easy too! Pasteurization is a process of heating a food to a specific temperature, for a specific amount of time, to kill specific bacteria. (My, my, what a specific process!) Salmonella bacteria are killed at a temperature of 140 degrees in about 3.5 minutes.

So, if a room temperature egg is held in a bowl of warm water--lets say 142 just to be safe--for 3.5 minutes, any salmonella bacteria will die. It takes 5 minutes for an extra large or jumbo egg.

Ready to try it yourself?

Place the room temperature eggs in a colander and lower them into a pan or bowl of 142 degree water. Put an instant read thermometer in the bowl to make sure you have a high enough temperature and that it remains constant. If your eggs are medium or large, leave them in the water for 3.5 minutes; for extra large or jumbo eggs, leave them in for 5 minutes. When the time is up, remove the eggs, dry them, and refrigerate them in a tightly covered container.

Viola! Now go enjoy that raw egg smoothie! I'll be sticking with cookie dough. ;)


  1. Hi! I just got your book and am excited to get started. Just wondering where you get your bags?

  2. Interesting...I wonder if the yolk would get warm enough for long enough to pasteurize it this way? Doesn't sound right to me. If the salmonella were on the shell, then sure!