There has been considerable controversy over the use of meringue powder. Cottage food operators across the nation are not about to use it. And today we are going to address the primary reason it’s off limits. Let’s take a look at what makes up meringue powder. Even though there are stabilizers it is still not safe. Yes, the dried egg whites are heated (pasteurized), that does not make it safe enough either. One of the reasons Cottage Food Laws ban meringue powder is it can impact the health of consumers. Like, the elderly, young children, and individuals with compromised immune systems.
It’s not like the Cottage Food Agency that regulates cottage foods wants to make your life miserable. The health of the consumer is always the first consideration. Cottage food operators are not inspected like commercial establishments. You never know who is going to eat a product made with meringue powder. And for your state Cottage Food Agency, they would rather be safe than sorry.
Plus, there’s the issue of liability associated with using a high-risk ingredient like meringue powder. If someone becomes ill due to the use of meringue powder, what will you do? Are you caring enough insurance to protect you and your family? A customer may not think they have a compromised immune system until it’s too late. Always remember, the goal is to keep the consumer safe. You must prepare low-risk foods that don’t cause foodborne illness.
The Truth About Meringue Powder
The truth is the harsh regulations around using meringue powder has nothing to do with you. Most bakers would be responsible for its use. They would store it properly and use it according to the instructions on the container. The real issue lies with the consumer.
Risk & Liability
Unfortunately, you never know when someone who should not have egg whites eats them. The chances of someone becoming ill may be minuscule, but even one is too many.
Remember, you are baking and producing food with little to no oversight. The state regulatory agency that governs your state cottage food agency must trust you. Like the “no pets” rule, they must trust you will not use high-risk ingredients. If you are able to use meringue powder in your state you’re lucky. Don’t take this for granted and by all means, carry liability insurance.
If you’re wondering which meringue powder I use, it’s Wilton’s, my old stand in and I’ve used it for years. If you know of another great meringue powder brand please share it with our readers. And if you know of a great eggless royal icing, share your recipe. We’d really appreciate it.
Egg-free meringue powder is expensive. Does this mean you can’t use it? Absolutely not. Adjust your pricing and remind customers these are custom cookies made with egg-free meringue. Using this product reduces the incidence of harmful bacteria such as salmonella often found in raw egg whites.
The ingredients in this product include “organic raw cane sugar, Aquafaba broth (organic chickpeas, water), organic arrowroot powder, organic gum acacia (non-GMO), citric acid (non-GMO), organic guar gum.”
If you are interested in trying an egg-free meringue recipe, Food Network features one that sounds promising. If you create another recipe, please share in the comments. Cottage food states that don’t allow the use of meringue know finding an egg-free meringue recipe is worth its weight in gold.
Do you reside in a cottage food state that does not allow the use of meringue powder? What do you use instead?