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 listen in.
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, thats 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? Lets 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 temperature.
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 safety.
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). Dont 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
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