How to pasteurize eggs at home?

Pasteurized eggs have a lower microbiological risk, so they can be included without problems in the diet of pregnant women and immunosuppressed people.

Last update: October 24, 2021

Pasteurized egg is frequently used in restaurants to eliminate the microbiological risk of this food in its fresh version. Would you like it learn how to pasteurize eggs at home?

Before starting, it should be noted that Eggs are a reservoir for many bacteria that can be pathogenic for humans. Most of them are concentrated in the shell.

However, these pathogens could penetrate into the food under certain conditions. If this happens, the health of people, especially the most vulnerable, could be put at risk.

Pasteurizing your eggs at home

Pasteurization is nothing more than a high temperature heat treatment that kills pathogenic microorganisms and increases the health and safety of a food. In the case of eggs, it will be enough to keep the edibles in a pot with water at 60 degrees for 4 minutes to minimize the risks.

It is best to use a kitchen thermometer to monitor the temperature at all times. From 64 degrees, part of the egg begins to coagulate, what would cause the cooking of the same, something that does not interest in this case.

For this reason, it is necessary to be precise when applying heat in order to limit the presence of bacteria without generating a change in the organoleptic characteristics of the food itself.

Pasteurizing eggs at home is easier than you think.

Anyway, it is also possible to buy these types of products. Although they are usually purchased in specialized wholesale stores, some supermarkets have this variety available to the consumer.

It is a great option for the preparation of sauces such as mayonnaise, especially when it is consumed by people who fall within risk groups, such as pregnant women.



Other methods of pasteurization

There are other ways to pasteurize the egg at home for later use in different culinary recipes. The most common is to put the eggs in a pot in a bain-marie. In this case, it is also necessary to verify that the water temperature does not exceed 64 degrees.

The egg is cracked inside the container contained in the pot and they wait again 4 minutes to complete the process. From here the food will be ready to be included in another recipe, although this must be done immediately. It cannot be conserved again or put in the refrigerator, since by breaking it its exposure to pathogens is greater.

Note that many baked goods use raw eggs. Sauces also usually incorporate this food among their ingredients.

Although it is true that under normal conditions it is not necessary to take this measure, in the summer periods the risk is significantly increased. The higher the atmospheric temperature, the more care must be taken with the handling and use of the egg.

The risks of bacterial poisoning

It is important to bear in mind that bacterial intoxication can generate significant alterations in digestive function that condition the state of health in the medium and long term.

Normally, this class of processes present with symptoms characterized by diarrhea, gas and abdominal pain. Vomiting can also occur in some situations.

The pathogens present in the egg could trigger digestive discomfort.

However, one of the associated risks is dehydration generated from the loss of fluids. Water imbalance is especially dangerous in older people, since they have a lower percentage of water in their body. They may experience an increase in body temperature that impacts physiological function.

According to research published in the journal Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, When the level of water in the body is reduced, it causes alterations in the cognitive system, which could lead to delusions.

This situation is also worrying in the case of children, groups susceptible to suffering complications from processes of water imbalance.



Dangers in pregnant women

During pregnancy, it is necessary to take extreme precautions at the dietary level to avoid intoxication that endangers the life of the fetus. The consumption of sauces that use raw eggs among their ingredients is totally prohibited.

These kinds of foods could cause an abortion if they were contaminated with certain microorganisms. This is evidenced by a study published in Microbiology.

The most dangerous of all bacteria for the fetus is Listeria. In addition to causing miscarriages, it increases the risk of suffering premature birth or interfering with the proper development of the baby’s cognitive system.

For this reason, all necessary measures must be taken so that this microorganism is not present in the mother’s diet. It can be found in raw milk and in poultry.

As a general rule, it is necessary to avoid the consumption of raw foods from animals during the pregnancy period. Many contain bacteria that are not necessarily pathogenic to the mother, but that can adversely affect the development of the fetus. It is necessary to avoid a situation of this type so that the pregnancy is carried out in an optimal way.

What other foods can be pasteurized?

Eggs are not the only foods susceptible to a pasteurization process. Also milk and dairy products are usually subjected to this sterilization process to ensure their health.

Even so, certain varieties of raw milk and fresh cheeses can be found on the market. You have to be very careful when consuming them to avoid poisoning.

In immunosuppressed people, the intake of dairy products that have not been subjected to a thermal process is totally discouraged to ensure the absence of microorganisms inside. In these cases, it is easier to experience complications, such as sepsis, that put the patient’s life at risk.

As stated in a study published in Surgical Infections, sepsis is one of the leading causes of death from infection. It consists of the entry of pathogens into the bloodstream, which causes their dissemination throughout the body. Those with alterations in the microbiota or problems in the defense system are more vulnerable to it.

It’s easy to pasteurize eggs at home

As you have seen, pasteurizing eggs at home does not have any complications. It doesn’t even take long so it is a perfect method to implement during periods of high heat and, thus, ensure the wholesomeness of these nutritious foods. Thus, people who belong to risk groups will be able to consume them without problems.

Now, keep in mind that you have to respect many other measures related to food hygiene. Among them are the sanitation of kitchen utensils, good food preservation practices, hand washing … Only by proposing a series of basic guidelines could the rate of bacterial infections worldwide be drastically reduced.

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