Protein shakes aren't the only drinks that contain raw eggs. A number of high-end bars and lounges have started using raw egg whites and raw egg yolks in their cocktails, and according to the Times, drink makers believe they are under attack from the city due to overblown salmonella concerns. Rumors of the raw egg crackdown stem from a Jan. 19 health code violation leveled against SoHo's Pegu Club because a barkeep allegedly didn't tell a patron his drink included raw eggs.
Though the menu lists "raw egg white" as an ingredient in the Earl Grey MarTEAni and includes a disclaimer stating "the consumption of raw eggs can be hazardous," a health inspector reportedly issued a violation because a bartender didn't inform a drinker who hadn't looked at the menu that his order contained raw eggs. Though the city has downgraded the offense to less severe infraction, Pegu Club has pulled the drink from its menu and cocktail insiders are scared. "If they make it illegal to serve egg-white drinks, that would be Hurricane Katrina for us," said a bartender or club owner who wisely wished to remain anonymous.
City rules stipulate that eggs must be heated to 145 degrees or more for 15 seconds "unless an individual consumer requests" the use of a raw egg. "We think, if it rises to the level of risk, then you have to let the buyer beware," said an associate health commissioner. But Pegu Club owner Audrey Saunders scoffed at the city's recommendation of using pasteurized eggs because they "impart this really funky wet-diaper nose," unlike the "ethereal mouth feel" produced by real raw eggs.