Is It Safe To Drink Costco's Kirkland-Brand Egg Whites?

Drinking raw egg whites is an easy and convenient way to increase the protein in your diet if you want to boost your macros without having to chew through another chicken breast or can of tuna fish. If you haven't tried it but are keen to step up your protein game you'll be pleased to know it's safe to drink Costco's Kirkland-brand egg whites because they've been pasteurized. You may, however, need to supplement your diet with a B vitamin called biotin if you consume raw egg whites in large amounts to safeguard the health of your skin, hair, and nails.

Pasteurization is a heat treatment where foods like eggs and cheese are heated rapidly and held at a certain temperature for a short period before cooling to destroy bacteria. Much like milk is pasteurized to eliminate bacteria so that it can be ingested safely without cooking, the same can be said for Kirkland-brand egg whites. While raw, unpasteurized egg whites can contain food-borne illnesses, like salmonella, pasteurized eggs are safe because they've been heated to a high enough temperature to kill salmonella, explaining why they're widely used in desserts like chocolate mousse. Just note that Kirkland egg whites cannot be whipped due to their pasteurization process.

Only consuming raw egg whites can cause biotin deficiency

Suppose you consistently drink a dozen or more egg whites per day. In that case, it's recommended that you supplement biotin, which can be purchased in capsule form or found naturally in foods such as brewer's yeast, many nuts, and sardines. 

There's a protein in egg whites called avidin, which, when consumed in large amounts, hampers the absorption of biotin by the body, causing a deficiency (per PeaceHealth). Luckily, you don't need to worry about adding biotin to your diet if you just add egg whites to your stir fries to tenderize meats, fry them sunny side up, or put them in an omelet. This is because the cooking process denatures most of the avidin, preventing it from hampering biotin absorption.

While some are deterred from drinking raw egg whites because of their slimy texture, they're packed full of the protein that the human body needs to build and repair muscle. There are plenty of creative ways to use egg whites to avoid the texture, like adding them to smoothies. However, if you want to eat raw egg whites as a post-gym snack and don't mind their gluey consistency, you can simply drink the Kirkland variety in place of, or as a supplement to, a protein shake. You can also safely eat entire pasteurized eggs, including the yolk, but bear in mind that the yolk has more cholesterol — albeit, the good kind that protects your heart.