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What is pasteurized?

Many people hear the word pasteurized and wonder exactly what it involves. The term pasteurized refers to the all-natural technique of applying heat to food products for a precise period of time. The goal? To eliminate bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. Some of the most commonly pasteurized foods are:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Juice
  • Butter
  • Ice Cream
  • Honey
  • Almonds and other nuts
  • Vinegars
  • Wine & beer
  • Lobster meat
  • Crab meat

The Salmonella factor

Did you know? Salmonella bacteria are the number-one culprits of foodborne illness. Animals, such as chickens, can harbor the bacteria without showing signs of sickness. This means any part of an unpasteurized egg can harbor Salmonella bacteria.

According to analysis by the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), one in every 50 consumers could be exposed to a Salmonella-contaminated egg each year. To protect yourself from this risk, experts recommend using pasteurized eggs in all your egg recipes.

Pasteurized eggs eliminate the risk of Salmonella—so enjoy eggs anyway you want, even raw or undercooked.

Pasteurized vs pasture-raised

These two words are often confused but they are not one and the same.

  • Pasteurized refers to the all-natural technique of applying heat to food products to eliminate pathogens.
  • Pasture-raised (or pastured) refers to living conditions of the animals.

Safest Choice™ Pasteurized Eggs, available in All-Natural and Cage Free varieties, undergo an all-natural warm water bath to eliminate the risk of Salmonella. Safest Choice™ Cage Free eggs are sourced from farms approved as Certified Humane®.

Unravel the differences between pasteurized and pasture-raised, as well as other terms commonly found on egg cartons in our blog post, Unscrambling Egg Lingo.

Pasteurized egg nutrition

Pasteurization does not affect egg nutrition according to the USDA. Get the facts about egg nutrition.