With the proliferation of home micro breeders and promotion of locally grown food items on the rise, I’ve gotten more interested in home laid eggs but unfortunately don’t have the space in which to raise my own.
My friend offered to share some of hers but I was a little concerned about the safety factor in home laid eggs. Do they need to be pasteurized? How dangerous are they if they’re not?
In fact, most eggs sold at the supermarket are not pasteurized. I was confusing eggs with milk. Milk is sold pasteurized but only occasionally do markets sell pasteurized eggs. And they’re sold at a greatly increased cost. A carton of eggs that might sell for $2.00 is sold pasteurized for $4.00.
While I’m sure this is valuable, the risk of sickness from salmonella, which is the most common form of food poisoning from eggs, is so negligible that I considered just taking my chances.
However, if you’re concerned over the potential health risks of unpasteurized eggs here’s some information explaining how to pasteurize your eggs at home. Now understand, because equipment at home isn’t as accurate as large scale egg producers equipment, this technique may not be put foolproof but it may work and still leaves you with an eggs runny yolk which can be used to make mayo or eaten sunny side up.
First of all, remove any debris by cleaning the shells with a brush or sandpaper. If you decide to wash the eggs, using a dye and fragrance free soap, the temperature should be at least 20° higher than the egg. If it’s not, a vacuum within the egg may be created pulling bacteria through pores in the shell from the egg surface to inside the egg. Yuck.
Now for the actual pasteurization: A food safety site recommends, “Egg whites coagulate at 140°F (60°C). Therefore, heating an egg above 140°F would cook the egg, so processors pasteurize the egg in the shell at a low temperature, 130°F (54°C), for a long time, 45 minutes.” http://www.foodsafetysite.com/educators/competencies/general/foodprocessing/processing2.html
Whew! All done! But are you?
After doing all this rigmarole you don’t want to risk having your eggs degrade before their time so put the dated carton on an inner shelf of the refrigerator rather than on the door. Inner shelves maintain a more consistent and lower temperature.
I love me some eggs. Whether you decide to pasteurize your own eggs, buy them at the store or eat them au naturel, enjoy!
Hmmm, I haven’t had deviled eggs in like forever…