Sainsbury’s has produced the UK’s first in-shell pasteurised eggs. The prototype eggs have been through a heat treatment which kills bacteria without cooking them. Customer trials will now be carried out with the aim of bringing the eggs to the market next year. Once on sale the eggs, which will be clearly labelled, will allow pregnant women, children and the elderly to eat raw or lightly cooked eggs without worrying about any possible safety implications.

The trial is part of a wider programme Sainsbury’s has to step change food safety for UK consumers. Systems which destroy bacteria on eggs, beef and poultry, while retaining maximum quality of the raw product, are all being developed.

Alec Kyriakides, Sainsbury’s Chief Microbiologist called this work a fundamental development in product safety saying, “Sainsbury’s is leading the way in food innovation and technology. Being able to pasteurise eggs without cooking them is fantastic news for both the industry and UK shoppers.

“Government advice continues to be that pregnant women, babies and the elderly should avoid foods with lightly cooked or raw eggs in them. Developing a simple natural process which eliminates this risk is a major leap forward in food safety.

“Our trials on in-shell pasteurised eggs are going extremely well and we hope to have them on sale next year.”