|Script: Egg Products and
Welcome to USDA's Food Safety and Inspection
Service "Food Safety At Home" podcast series, featuring topics
for the safe handling, preparation and storage of meat, poultry
and processed egg products. So, sit back, turn up the volume and
Egg products. Egg products are used in many types of food
you buy from the grocery store. Remember that Italian bread you
just picked up from the bakery section last week? How about that
jar of mayonnaise you bought today? These contain egg products.
Yes, that’s right… the majority of foods consumers purchase
contain egg products. But… did you ever wonder where they come
from? Do you know most egg products are USDA-inspected? Let’s
talk about that.
What are egg products? The term ‘egg products’ refers to eggs
that are removed from their shells for processing at
USDA-inspected facilities called “breaker plants.” The
processing of these egg products includes breaking eggs,
filtering, mixing, stabilizing, blending, pasteurizing, cooling,
freezing or drying and packaging.
Egg products include whole eggs, whites, yolks and various
blends – with or without non-egg ingredients – that are
processed and pasteurized.
During the pasteurization process, eggs must be rapidly heated
and held at a minimum required temperature for a specified time.
This destroys bacteria commonly found in eggs, such as
Salmonella, but it 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,
again for a specified time and at a minimum required
Both the foodservice industry and the commercial food industry
commonly use liquid, frozen and dried egg products to bind all
other ingredients together and ensure a higher level of food
For example, they can be scrambled, or made into omelets or used
as ingredients in egg dishes or other foods such as mayonnaise
or ice cream. Fast food chains, restaurants, hospitals and
nursing homes also use pasteurized egg products. Some of these
egg products are sold in grocery stores.
Now that you know how egg products are processed, make sure you
buy only pasteurized egg products that bear the USDA mark of
inspection and that containers are tightly sealed. Frozen
products should show no signs of thawing. Refrigerated products
should be kept at 40 °F or below. Dried egg products should not
be caked or hardened.
As soon as you get home from the grocery store, put your egg
products either in the refrigerator or freezer right away. For
best quality, only store frozen egg products up to one year.
After thawing, do not refreeze.
Thaw frozen egg products in the refrigerator or under cold
running water. Do not thaw them on the counter.
If the container for liquid products bears a “use-by” date,
observe it. Follow the storage and handling instructions
provided by the manufacturer.
You may store unopened containers in the refrigerator at 40 °F
or below for up to 7 days (not to exceed 3 days after opening).
Don’t freeze opened cartons or liquid egg products.
Unopened dried egg products and egg white solids can be stored
at room temperature as long as they are kept cool and dry. After
opening, store in the refrigerator.
Reconstituted egg products should be used immediately or
refrigerated and used within 24 hours.
Want to know more about egg products? Visit
www.fsis.usda.gov or call
the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline.
Find out more about egg products and check your steps at foodsafety.gov.
Thanks for listening to this Food Safety At Home podcast. Let us know what you think of this podcast by sending
your comments to
Last Modified: November 30, 2011