|To P or not to P?|
I love smoothies and egg nog, and I like raw eggs in both more than I enjoy adding a protein powder (some of those powders aren’t terribly tasty).
That said, with the risk of salmonella, it’s hard to recommend raw eggs as nourishment in drinks to a varied audience, many of whom live with compromised immune systems. And with so many options for raw eggs, it’d be nice to be able to partake in some of those recipes without the usual concerns (and facepalms from concerned friends).
Enter Safest Choice Pasteurized Shell Eggs.
According to their site:
When it comes to food safety, eggs are a food to take seriously. Salmonella bacteria in food cause more than 1 million illnesses, more than 19,000 hospitalizations, and 378 deaths in the US every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among bacteria, Salmonella are the number-one cause of foodborne illness. Did you know that 4 out of 5 Salmonella foodborne illness (food poisoning) cases come from raw or undercooked eggs? As we’ve seen from egg recalls, this is because eggs can be contaminated with Salmonella on the farm. Safest Choice™ Pasteurized Shell Eggs offer you the only FDA approved method to eliminate Salmonella in eggs.
As an added bonus, the Safest Choice™ egg pasteurization process eliminates other dangerous microbes like Avian flu virus.
When you prevent Salmonella from entering your kitchen, you eliminate the risk of spreading the bacteria to other foods though your ordinary food handling and surfaces like countertops, and cookware. Called cross contamination, spreading germs in the kitchen is one of the ways dangerous microbes like Salmonella that cause foodborne illness get into other foods and are a main cause of food poisoning, according to the CDC.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calls these at-risk groups “highly susceptible”. They are:
- Older Americans
- Children under 10
- Pregnant women
- People with diabetes
- Individuals taking strong medication that suppresses the immune system
- People on dialysis
- Post-operative patients
- Individuals with influenza or pneumonia
- Anyone with a weakened immune system
Highly susceptible means two things: First, a person who fits one of these categories is more likely to contract a foodborne illness. Secondly, a person who does get sick may become especially ill.
How does the company, with its Food Safety Leadership Award and the American Culinary Federation Seal of Approval, pasteurize their eggs in the shell without a loss of nutrients? The eggs of chickens not fed antibiotics or hormones, arrive at the company where they are treated to a computer-controlled bath for about an hour at the perfect temperature to rid the egg of potential bacteria. The patented process is so effective, the FDA has granted the eggs the permission to stamp their product with the tell-tale “P” for pasteurized.
My only concern? The currently limited availability of this product. In the wake of egg recalls and food safety concerns for a growing number of consumers, that Safest Choice Pasteurized Shell Eggs offer an unconventional process without altering the nutritional value of the egg is something we need more of. That the company has opened a second plant to double capacity is a positive sign. And how sweet would it be if more of us could drink raw eggs in our morning protein drinks without worrying about illness?
Sure, you’ll shell out a little more cash for these pasteurized in-shell eggs (couldn’t resist one pun), but because of the importance Safest Choice places on consumer safety and on kosher certification, it’s apparent the company cares about humans in the equation.
And because the company now also offers Cage Free Eggs, in a world that questions,” Which comes first? The chicken or the egg?” with Safest Choice, the answer is “both.”
Safest Choice Pasteurized Shell Eggs
Price: $3.49 per dozen (see coupon below)
Usefulness: In any raw or cooked application
Negative: Not available in many locations–yet
Found: Store Locator
Disclosure: This product was provided free of charge for review by a site sponsor, but has not affected my opinion of the stuff.