Lulu came home from school today talking about her cooking class and that she had learned about pasteurized eggs. I thought that she meant pasteurized egg product (you know, the stuff that comes in those little cartons and talks about ‘beating eggs’) but she corrected me and said no, eggs in a shell that are pasteurized.
So I did a google search and sure enough. I found a website that was promoting their pasteurized shell eggs which says their“pasteurized shell eggs have eliminated the risk and dangers of egg-borne illness caused by salmonella bacteria”. I was surprised and curious. They had a page on how they pasteurized those shell eggs.
- How We Do It
The National Pasteurized Eggs process starts with the arrival of clean, farm-fresh eggs on sanitized plastic flats from our pre-approved, USDA certified and inspected farms.
All eggs arrive from USDA inspected, family owned and operated farms and are delivered within 48 hours of being laid.
Hens are fed diets that contain no hormones, no antibiotics and no animal by-products are used.
The eggs enter our patented pasteurization system where the carriers transport the eggs to our clean, warm water bath pasteurizer.
The eggs continue through the water bath where this mixture of exact time and temperature assures accurate pasteurization. The eggs are pasteurized to exceed a 5 log reduction of harmful bacteria or viruses without cooking the eggs. The 5 log reduction of Salmonella is the regulated standard set by the FDA required for a product to be labeled pasteurized. The NPE patented process ensures that eggs meet and exceed this 5 log FDA requirement without cooking the eggs.
The eggs move on automated carriers where they receive an optical check that identifies and removes all damaged or cracked eggs.
The eggs then are conveyed out of the pasteurization bath and through an automatic waxing unit which applies a food grade wax protection over the egg shell. This wax acts as an additional seal to protect the eggs from absorption of any cross-contaminants that otherwise could pass through the shell’s thousands of open pores.
Next, the eggs receive a red Circle P stamp identifying them as pasteurized.
This finished product is then packed, moved to coolers and brought to below 45°F., and palletized for shipment.
The pasteurization facility and production are managed under controlled HACCP procedures adhering to defined SOP’s and GMP’s and Circle U Kosher approval standards. The facility and process are inspected and certified by USDA and Silliker Labs and approved by the FDA.
The total pasteurization process above results in destruction of bacteria and viruses inside and outside the shell, preserving freshness and taste as well as significantly extending the shelf life of the eggs.
That’s how we pasteurize our eggs!
Wow. I think there is too much ‘stuff’ done to those eggs. I want my eggs fresh out of the chicken. Not hauled somewhere, put through a water bath (which I’m still not understanding how they get the temperature to a pasteurization level without cooking the egg) and then waxed, stamped and then hauled to the store. Good thing that the process extends the shelf life (typed with sarcasm).
I’ll admit that I don’t know how common salmonella is. But this egg pasteurizing website tells me that “it is estimated that .01% of eggs in the retail market are infected with salmonella or one out of every 10,000 eggs in the U.S.” The CDC actually breaks that down a little bit more and specifies that most infected hens are found in the North East and “In the North East, approximately one in 10,000 eggs can be internally contaminated”. And it goes on to say “in other parts of the United States, contaminated eggs appear less common”. And from the Egg (the have a logo that say The Incredible Edible Egg) website we are reminded that “in the rare event that an egg contains bacteria, you can reduce the risk by proper chilling and eliminate it by proper cooking. When you handle eggs with care, they pose no greater food safety risk than any other perishable food.” and they say that “one in 20,000 eggs” are contaminated with salmonella. I believe that all of the information given is regarding eggs in the retail market even though the CDC and the Incredible Egg people do not specify that. I was unable to find any statistics or information regarding pastured eggs.
For my family we will continue to get pastured eggs from the two sources that I have found until our own hens start laying. I trust these sources. And I believe that a pastured egg provides a better source of nutrition. Some excellent Food Bloggers have already put out some great information on pastured eggs. Kelly the Kitchen Kop (in the comments she even mentions that she eats pastured eggs raw, as do many others), Food Renegade talks about Real Eggs, Cheeseslave discusses pastured vs free range eggs. Visit them for more information.
Oh and did I mention, that pastured eggs taste better? My family (especially Joe) notices a huge difference.
What do you think? Pastured Egg or Pasteurized Egg?