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USDA’s response to the egg white issue
Posted: 24 December 2009 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Well I for one don’t believe in playing Russian roulette even though the chances of contracting the illness are slim. There are enough warnings out there. How would one feel about infecting one’s family or friends.

I avoid making ice cream recipes which use uncooked eggs however delicious they maybe and have stopped eating Meringue from outside sources.
Shirley O Corriher says Salmonella is usually in the yolks - the contaminated yolk can pass salmonella to the egg white but this is rare. Salmonella cases in the US are rare too unlike UK and other countries.

The “safe” Swiss Meringue technique - the temp up to 160F - recommended.

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Posted: 24 December 2009 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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In order for salmonella to be killed, the hot sugar syrup meringue has to remain above 140F for three minutes or hit 160F for instant-kill.  I have checked with a thermometer several times with Rose’s Mousseline in my own kitchen, and it does not satisfy either condition when I make it as directed.  I think the person from the USDA did not understand the process and thought that the whole mixture rose to 248F.

That said, it is more of an issue for the yolks than the whites, the hot syrup does kill some of the salmonella (if there is any there), and the incidence of salmonella in eggs the northeast is only one in 10,000, lower in other areas of the country.

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B&T Blog:  Cultured Butter Recipe

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Posted: 26 December 2009 08:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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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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Linda R.

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Posted: 26 December 2009 08:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Even though there seems to be some ambiguity and/or confusion, your inquiry was a valuable contribution to the forum. The issue is an important one and deserved the attention it got as a result of your efforts. Thanks again for looking into this, Linda.

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Posted: 26 December 2009 09:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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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 ]   [ # 21 ]
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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 ]   [ # 22 ]
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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 ]   [ # 23 ]
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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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