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uncooked egg whites


Morfudd
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Does anyone know if it is 'safer' to eat an egg white if it is uncooked but has been incorporated into an ice cream and frozen? Does the freezing process kill the bacteria or just render them immobile, as it were, and therefore harmless?

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No, freezing does not kill bacteria reliably. If it did, life for everyone would be so much easier and safer. Freezing does kill small parasites, such as the ones which can cause trichinosis in pork. Extremely slow freezing to the temperature of liquid nitrogen or dry ice might be safe because the ice crystals which would easily form during the slow freezing might rupture the bacteria, which are single-cell organisms. But I wouldn't trust it, or even try it, except as a lab experiment. And for the final capper, freezing of any kind has no effect on viruses, whixh aren't even cells.

Ray

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Thank you. I would not personally be worried by eating raw egg whites, but I am writing a recipe book on ice creams and sorbets and one of the recipes I want to include is nougat ice cream but made with egg whites, cream and nuts whipped up and then frozen. It is delicious and an adaptation of one of Marco Pierre white's recipes from 'White Heat' Most nougat ice cream recipes cook the nougat and then incorporate it into the ice cream, or make a Pate a bombe first. (Gordon Ramsay also includes uncooked egg whites in his nougat parfait but not as many as Marco!)

So I think I will probably use my adapted recipe with a clear sentence saying 'contains raw egg whites' I dont want to use egg yolks in this particular recipe and dont want to cook my meringue first.

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could you try an adaptation w/ pasturized egg whites?

If the book is intended for mainstream home cooks, then the liquid egg whites (ie, comes in a milk-carton style box, not in a shell) which are available in the dairy case of some shops might be appropriate.

A disclaimer in the recipe re: the use of uncooked egg whites in the original form, plus a suggestion of an alternative, might just do the trick.

Karen Dar Woon

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