Food Hygiene IBC vs SBC

Forum: Cakes & Cake Decorating

Just curious as to what your opinions are as to IBC vs SMC
regarding possible food poisoning as SMC only really goes up 140F or 60C , to kill most pathogens you must go to 75C or 167F, , to me this makes it a little dangerous if you cake is sitting at room temp for a few hours, room temp is usually the most dangerous temperature for growing nasties, especially when I see postings as to best way of removing pieces of shell is with the rest of shell which can be covered with so many things like campylobacter, salmonella etc
Then there is IBC (no harder to make) that pasteurises the egg as you pour on sugar at 115C or 239F, I always use IBC over SBC for this very reason, not a likely to grow bacteria sitting at room temp…..I know sugar helps prevent bacteria growing but is it worth the risk… I have grown up in a household that food poisoning could kill my father, so abet a little paranoid, or weird things can happen with food poisoning , recently my mother was in a wheelchair for a couple of months due to reactive arthritis from getting food poisoning from a chicken burger at a well known fast food place…1 year later she is still struggling with physio to get her leg working properly again…I only tell you this to highlight some of the ramifications of food poisoning.

Now Please I am not having a go at anyone… I just want your opinions… I believe this is a topic that warrants discussion

Jo, NZ,


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15 Replies

Goreti ...

I was very concerned about this too when I started making SMBC (I do not like American buttercream). Since I didn’t want to make my family & friends sick from one of my cakes, I researched & researched before I started using it. I do heat my egg whites to 150-160F. I also keep my cakes refrigerated until the time I deliver it to the family party. This way it is sitting out just long enough to bring it to room temperature. I’ve never had an issue but it is always in the back of my mind to be honest with you. I have never made IBC but want to try it one of these days.

Ciccio ...

Thanks Goreti I can’t refrigerate mine once fondant on, so I have decorating time included in time it spends out

Ozabby ...

Almost totally agree. I think Italian meringue brings it to a better temperature, plus I think it’s more stable than the Swiss version. The only thinks I disagree on is I actually think (with a good thermometer) Italian is actually easier!

Goreti ...

I’ve got to give Italian a try. For some reason, I’m afraid to try it & mess it up. I’ve had great luck with the Swiss. Will have to try on my next cake. Do you have a favorite recipe for it that you are willing to share?

Ozabby ...

I would just google any old recipe. That is how I started, then started adjusting the proportions to my liking – personally that is more meringue, less butter, some pudding, curd or creme anglaise added for flavour etc. just DON’T let the sugar get over 248F!!! If you do, remake the sugar it cannot be rescued. It will (no question) ruin the egg to a grainy mess!
Good luck! Once mastered it is actually much easier and less directly time consuming.

Ciccio ...

Goreti I Use the following proportions
460g Caster Sugar in pot with 1/2 cup water
8 Egg whites (size 7 eggs)
800g Butter Soft
bring water with sugar to boil brush down sides so you don’t get crystallisation & heat until 115C or 239F whist you are boiling you sugar have your egg white whisking in beater (whisk to medium peak), then as soon as your sugar is at temp slowly but steadily pour onto egg white whilst continuing to beat, beat 1 minute scrap down sides & beat until room temp, then add soft butter & beat, until smooth, you will go through a stage where it looks like it has split but keep beating it will come together, then add flavourings & use…I hope this helps once you have made it once you will see it’s so easy

Goreti ...

I’m going to give it a try. I think I will make a cake for my niece’s 18th bday next week so she can have it with her friends and will try it. Thanks.

Ciccio ...

Let us know how you get on, I love IBC…a little too much teehee I usually only add vanilla or a little of the essences you can buy from brewing shops that you make the fake liquors with

Maria @ RooneyGirl BakeShop ...

Hi Jo and everyone, For SBC, I actually cook my egg whites/sugar to 160 F while stirring constantly and don’t have a problem with them curdling or scrambling. I also keep my cakes refrigerated when I’m not working on them or up until I deliver too- just to be safe. And I have a tip for IBC – when your sugar/water comes to a boil, stop stirring of course and put a lid on it for about 30-45 seconds – the condensation will wash down the crystals on the side and you don’t have to worry about using a brush to wash them – works great for me so try it out. Plus I heat my sugar to 245 F without a problem too (Learned this from Warren Brown’s you tube video).
Good luck!

Bobie MT ...

This is a nice tutorial of IMBC from Cakejournal — although I use only 1 pound (2 cups) butter

Ciccio ...

Wow Maria I’m impressed if you can get your egg whites to 160F as whites start to coagulate at 140F thus why is is normal to stop cooking SMBC at 140F to avoid synaeresis, why I started talking about SMBC vs IBC is that most people only go to 140F and because they are covering in fondant the cake will sit out, you are lucky to have a dry fridge unit which most do not…I am so jealous if you do…as most fridges ruin Fondant…when I trained as a pastry Chef , we were strictly told that SMBC was only ever to be used if you were only using SMBC to cover cake as it needed to be kept in refrigerator, this was re-iterated (regarding meringue to be cooked to 167F to sit out)when I also sat my full 4 levels of food hygiene certificates .. I get a little worried when reading on Facebook how many use SMBC under fondant….
The funniest thing is I think IBC is so much easier to make

I do love the idea of putting a lid on, must try that next time

Thanks Out of the Box Cake designs for the link to IMBC tutorial

Maria @ RooneyGirl BakeShop ...

Hmmm, I don’t know Jo, maybe my thermometer is off or maybe its the cream of tarter I add? I’m second guessing myself now. I don’t know? I use SMBC or IMBC as a filling in fondant cakes and ganache the outside before laying fondant over it. The cakes do sweat after I take them out of the fridge but the condensation goes away after about 30-45 minutes and as long as I don’t touch it, they remain perfect. I’m sorry if I might be giving misinformation but I’m just speaking from my experience. Sorry in advance to anyone that tries to cook SMBC up to 160F and gets scrambled eggs :-(.

Ali Davis ...

I’ve always done my SMBC to 160F and haven’t had any problems! As far as I understood in my food safety classes, hard boiled eggs or anything containing eggs (like custard, and in this case SMBC) needs to have an internal temperature of 160F. I also use pasteurized egg whites and constantly whisk while heating with sugar. Haven’t had any issues. Correction, I had issues after going through a break-up and wasn’t patient enough when adding the butter. I was so mad at myself but have since recovered. :P

Ciccio ...

Maria your thermometer probably isn’t off if you are adding cream of tartar as this stabilises the eggwhite but taking it up to 160F/72C is still not to New Zealand standards as it has to be minimum 167F/75C if I said to health inspector that I did it to 160F I would lose by Health Licence, it is very strict here, those few degrees can make all the difference with bacteria especially when you may have a pregnant woman get sick (they may not realise not safe for them) Ali from the Sugar Lab is being safer using pasteurised eggs, these are not available in NZ, but SMBC was never designed to stay out for long periods as 99% of recipes only take to 140F, you are lucky to be able to put in fridge & so brave putting in fridge, I have a big chiller but would get to wet as would get to cold temp sits down on 35F/2C

Ali you are so funny I literally snorted at your issues comment… I’m glad you have recovered :-)…but you are right it is safe to eat egg after it reaches an internal temp of 160F but is it safe to leave out for a couple of hours (NZ law max 2 hours for cooked food)…… thinking is would you leave a cooked chicken which has been cooked up to safe temp then sit it for 3-4 hours on a table (like some wedding cakes sit)…then feed it to a pregnant/old or sick person?…I’m assuming not … My point with the IMBC is that you are starting with a pasteurised meringue that out could leave safely out for a couple of days like a pavlova/meringues which can stay out of the fridge safely for weeks

Heidi ...

Hi Cicco, I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s situation because of food poisoning.

I’ve made both before and I think IMBC is easier to make then SMBC , and I’m also very concern with food poisoning, I never use raw egg whites – only pasteurized egg whites for a peace of mind. :)

So I vote IMBC! :)

- Heidi