Use egg products safely in recipes

Follow these guidelines for handling and cooking egg and egg products safely.

Eggs are one of the most nutritious and inexpensive foods we can eat – they also carry a high risk of foodborne illness if not handled properly. Shell eggs should be stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, thoroughly cooked and eaten quickly after cooking. Eggs should be completely cooked until both the yolk and white are firm. Recipes containing eggs mixed with other foods should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Egg recipes that do not require cooking provide a higher risk for bacteria contamination, causing the possibility for foodborne illness.

Egg products can be substituted in recipes using uncooked eggs. Basic egg products include whole eggs, whites, yolks and various blends that are processed and pasteurized. The processing of egg products requires breaking eggs, filtering, mixing, stabilizing, blending, pasteurizing, cooling, freezing, or drying and packaging.

Pasteurization of eggs means they are rapidly heated and held at a minimum required temperature for a specified time. This destroys the bacteria that causes Salmonella, but does not cook the eggs or affect their color, flavor, nutritional value or use. Dried egg whites are pasteurized by heating in the dried form for a specified time and at a minimum required temperature.

For recipes that require uncooked eggs, make it safe by:

  1. Heat eggs in one of the other liquid ingredients in recipe over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Use pasteurized eggs or egg products.

The United States Department of Agriculture does not recommend eating raw shell eggs that are not cooked or are undercooked due to the possibility of bacteria causing Salmonella. These types of recipes are especially dangerous to high risk populations: infants, young children, pregnant women and their unborn babies, older adults and people with weakened immune systems. Bringing cooked eggs to the internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended.

For more information on egg safety, see:

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