I think I have read all of the royal icing topics pertaining to egg white safety, but I still have a question. If this topic has already been asked and answered, please let me know.
I understand that using pasteurized egg whites (or meringue powder) reduces, or eliminates altogether, the possibility of salmonella, and that a high sugar content in any confection will retard the birth/spread of bacteria, but as I am not cooking the icing at all, the pasteurized egg whites are still considered raw, correct?
My main concern is leaving the icing-flooded cookies out to dry on a counter as opposed to putting them in a fridge (which I know you're not supposed to do) to dry. Since the egg whites are raw/uncooked, nothing has really changed since pouring them out of the carton. Apart from a texture difference in the icing (whipped by a mixer) the icing still needs to be refrigerated to prevent spoiling, right?
I keep reading information that says iced cookies can be left in an airtight container on the counter, but no one would ever pour out pasteurized egg whites into a bowl and just leave them on a counter for a few days before they are eaten.
I'm sure I'm overthinking this, but it's the one question I have with making royal icing.