Traditional pasteurization methods in which heat is applied to a raw shell egg has traditionally, cooked the egg. In the '80s the Cox family of Washington state began working to develope a process in which to pasteurize shell eggs without cooking them as a means to deliver a product to market that would carry a lessened or non-existent food-borne bacterial load.
In the '90s, the Cox's began work with L. John Davidson and together they finally developed a process for pasteurizing shell eggs without cooking them that has been patented and is owned now by National Pasteurized Eggs Inc. and distributed under the brand name Davidson's Safest Choice since 2003.
While we don't suggest you readily assume that all eggs, regardless of processing are safe for consumption raw, Davidson's Safest Choice, the egg stamped with a circled "P" are now available in Florida.
Eggs are an excellent source of necessary nutrients and one of the few food products out there that can be truly delightfully prepared in expert hands but that are also monumentally difficult to f-up unless done wholly on purpose. Davidson's Safest Choice eggs contain six grams of protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Being pasteurized, the press release states the following:
"This means you can eat eggs any way you like: sunny side up with runny yolks, raw in a morning smoothie, in cookie dough, etc. — with none of the salmonella risk."
The process for pasteurization is fully explained on their site along with other informative links, FAQs and interactive pages but in a nutshell, they begin with eggs from USDA-approved, certified and inspected farms that are family-owned and operated and feed diets "free of hormones, antibiotics, and animal by-products." These are then submerged in a water bath with computer-controlled temperature for a set amount of time.
This combination of time and temperature purportedly "destroys" all bacteria without cooking the egg which are then sealed in an FDA-approved food-grade wax coating to "prevent contamination and preserve product freshness." These are stamped with the red circle "P" logo, dated, labeled and stored below 45°F. Most importantly, Davidson's eggs are processed within hours of being laid.
Like anything, the truth is in the taste and you can find a list of Publix supermarkets selling the Safest Choice egg at safeeggs.com.
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