Just about everything is more expensive today than it was a year ago, but especially eggs. Compared to January of last year, the price of meats, poultry, fish and eggs increased by 8.1%, according to Consumer Price Index’s data.
The soaring price of this grocery staple is causing some people to turn to unconventional ways to preserve them — like having their eggs freeze-dried.
And, who can blame them for looking for new methods to save on food?
If you’re planning to make the switch to freeze-dried eggs, here are some tips about how to do so safely, from Donald Schaffner, a professor of food science at Rutgers University.
Plus, advice on how to get the best bang for your buck from fresh eggs.
Many people are turning to freeze-dried eggs as another way to get the costly protein into their diet.
So much so that “freeze dried egg” has over 850 million views on TikTok. The videos show people using powdered, freeze-dried eggs to make a scramble for breakfast.
While some people are purchasing pre-made freeze-dried eggs, others are attempting the freeze-drying process themselves at home, which raises some concerns for health experts.
“It makes a difference whether it’s a commercially processed food or something you’re doing in your home,” says Schaffner.
People are strongly encouraged to heat eggs to 160 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid risk of exposure to salmonella, per the United States Department of Agriculture.
Some freeze-drying processes circulating online recommend the use of countertop food dehydrators, and not all are able to reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
“If those freeze-dried eggs were made from raw eggs and you haven’t cooked them prior to consuming them, then you’re going to have a risk of getting sick from salmonella,” says Schaffner.
“I would say if you cook it to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, that’s going to give you a high degree of safety.”
Still, your safest bet is to eat freeze-dried eggs that were manufactured by a reputable company, versus doing the entire process by yourself at home, says Schaffner.
A spokesperson from the Food and Drug Administration told TODAY that they aren’t “aware of any validated process that consumers can use to safely dehydrate or freeze-dry eggs at home.”
If you’re not sold on freeze-dried eggs, or it feels too risky, there are some ways to preserve fresh eggs in your fridge, says Schaffner.
He suggests these two simple steps to make your eggs last as long as possible:
- Buy a thermometer for your refrigerator
- Keep your fridge at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler, but not cold enough to freeze the eggs. “That’s going to give you a long shelf life for your eggs, and salmonella does not grow or multiply at 40 degrees Fahrenheit,” says Schaffner.
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