USDA’s response to the egg white issue
Posted: 22 December 2009 04:00 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I wrote the USDA and asked their hotline about the egg whites, giving a description of how the cream anglaise and egg whites were whipped in the SMB recipe, and here is there reply

“Dear Ms. Ramirez:
Thank you for writing the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline. Your icing recipe is just fine. If the hot syrup is heated to the hard crack state that is well past the temperature needed to make the egg whites safe.  Since the cr?me anglese has also been heated to 170 the entire mixture is perfectly safe.”

So it seams as long as you are heating the egg yolks to above 160 degrees farenheit, (so their web sight says), and you pour hot syrup into the egg whites, all is safe.

Thanks for such a great topic everyone, I’ll feel better when I make this wedding cake.

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Posted: 22 December 2009 06:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’m glad to be of some help Carolita.  Everyone here has been so helpful both to me and all the knowledge they share.

Here is the info if anyone has any questions, they seem very easy to contact and are very pleasant:

Meat and Poultry Hotline Webmaster
To speak to a Food Safety Specialist,call the Hotline at 1-888-674-6854
e-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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Linda R.

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Posted: 23 December 2009 05:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I may not seem too bright but,is there an issue about the safe use of the egg whites in the recipe not being cooked or something?.Never had a problem with nobake pavlova where they are not cooked.Am I on the wrong track here?

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Posted: 23 December 2009 11:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Carolita, I will check again at exactly what temperature they want the syrup to be for it to be safe.  I did not give them the temperatures I was referring to, but you are right, there is a big difference between the hard crack and hard ball stage.  I’ll post what I find out, as they are vague about the syrup.

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Posted: 23 December 2009 04:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thank you Jeanne for your advise about the egg whites.I have never considered any dangers from egg whites before,its never been refered to by anyone here in Australia that I know of.As I said before I have been making an no bake pavlova for years ,just egg whites,sugar,gelatine,and vanilla.I also have never heard of pastuerised egg whites.Whole raw eggs are eaten by some people and egg flips with raw egg,vanilla and milk are a common thing for some others.This is indeed a new idea for me.It certainly is true that you learn something new everyday and its especially true on this forum.

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Posted: 23 December 2009 05:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thank you Carolita for the information you sent me.I didnt know what the egg whites were actually suppose to cause.Thanks to your link I do now.We buy our eggs five minutes down the road from a producer,who does roadside sales from inside his premises.I will ask him about all these things when I go next time.Its sort of what came first ‘the chicken or the egg’is the problem of the eggs inside or outside.I will certainly be mindful of these things now I have been informed about them .Thank you once again for all this helpful information

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Posted: 23 December 2009 05:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The law requires in Australia that all egg products sold for consumption have to pasteurised

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Posted: 23 December 2009 10:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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“Dear Ms. Ramirez :
Thank you for writing back.

The syrup is more than hot enough to make the egg whites safe. Salmonella is killed at 160 degrees F, so even if the syrup is at firm-ball stage it is pleny hot enough to make the icing safe.

Sincerely,
Meat and Poultry Hotline Webmaster
To speak to a Food Safety Specialist,
call the Hotline at 1-888-674-6854
e-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

I realize it is all a personal decision, but here is the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) web sights reply.  I know I will be comfortable with it. My research shows that there is very little salmonella in the whites, as most of it is in the yolk.  But we all must choose what we want to go with.

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Posted: 26 December 2009 08:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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From the USDA’s web sight:

“Use Safe Egg Recipes
Egg mixtures are safe if they reach 160 ?F, so homemade ice cream and eggnog can be made safely from a cooked egg-milk mixture. Heat it gently and use a food thermometer.
Dry meringue shells are safe. So are divinity candy and 7-minute frosting, made by combining hot sugar syrup with beaten egg whites. Avoid icing recipes using uncooked eggs or egg whites.
Meringue-topped pies should be safe if baked at 350 ?F for about 15 minutes. Chiffon pies and fruit whips made with raw, beaten egg whites cannot be guaranteed to be safe. Instead, substitute pasteurized dried egg whites, whipped cream, or a whipped topping.
To make a recipe safe that specifies using eggs that aren’t cooked, heat the eggs in a liquid from the recipe over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 160 ?F. Then combine it with the other ingredients and complete the recipe.
To determine doneness in egg dishes such as quiche and casseroles, the center of the mixture should reach 160 ?F when measured with a food thermometer.
Use pasteurized eggs or egg products when preparing recipes that call for using eggs raw or undercooked. “

I made sure I was clear in my e-mail to them that the only heat for the whites was from pouring the syrup in the whites.  I even asked if you had to ‘heat’ the whites over water as most 7 minute frostings call for, to clarify this is not done in the reciped I used, and they said the hot syrup was okay.

I realize this might not satisfy all the issues, some very good ones that have come up regarding this issue, but when I read the previous post about egg whites, I just wanted to share this.  Next time I will probably hold off, it seems there are way to many more questions than answers on this topic.

Thank you everyone for your kind and considerate responses.  I guess the only complete safe way to go is if you can get pasteurized eggs or use the powdered egg whites.  I will have to look for egg whites online for me, as there aren’t any places I can find pastuerized eggs in either of the states I live.

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Posted: 26 December 2009 09:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I thank you also ,If you read my previous posts ,you would know I have never been aware of the egg white issue and Im sixty six years old .Because of your postings I checked further ,all australian egg products for human consumption must be pasteurised by law.This is something else I wasnt aware of.Thank you once again for your postings,they would have taken quite a bit of your time to check out and pass on to us all.

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Posted: 26 December 2009 11:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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You are welcome Carolita.  I really am happy to look into this, maybe someday it will be a ‘non’ issue, but until then, we all must go with what we are comfortable. Thank you for all your input on this.

Ozgirl, I wish it were that easy here!  The USDA gives us some strict rules, then on this one backs off, it confuses me.  I hope our rural areas of this country come up with the pasturized eggs, I think that might make the whole problem easier. 

I have learned so much from Rose’s sight, and cannot wait to post some of what my husband and I have done since discovering this place.  It is giving us a new passion, with so much support and information from informed people, it is much easier to understand our baking!

Thank you everyone!!!

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Posted: 28 December 2009 03:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I missed this post since I was on vacation (to visit my sister in Mississauga). 


Thanks for checking with the USDA, Linda.  I agree with other people that it seems like the person who responded from the USDA may not have fully understood the process even though you described it in detail with specific temperatures.  Given what Rose and other books have said about holding the heat at 160F to kill salmonella, I would personally still use pasteurized eggs if I were serving a high risk group.  It seems like Jeanne’s suggestion of using SMBC is also a great alternative if pasteurized eggs are not available since you can hold the temp at 160F. 

Thanks a lot!

Jess

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Posted: 04 January 2010 11:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Anyone have concerns about egg whites and meringues?  I have seen a recipe for merigues that did not require baking. Opps - I should have read a bit further in some other postings. tongue laugh

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