Storage

  • Keep eggs in their carton, so you can check the Julian date (when eggs were packed) or expiration date.
  • Place carton in the coldest part of the refrigerator – not in the door, where temperatures may fluctuate when it is opened and closed.
  • Eggs may be refrigerated for three to five weeks.
  • Liquid egg products should be refrigerated at all times and eaten within two to six days of purchase.
  • After dried egg products are mixed with water, they should be refrigerated in a tightly-sealed container. Use within four days.

Freezing

  • Fresh eggs can be frozen, but not in the shell.
  • To freeze, break the egg and place whole eggs, yolks or egg whites in a tightly-sealed container. Label with the date.
  • Refrigerated liquid eggs can be placed unopened in the freezer.
  • Eggs and egg products can be stored in the freezer up to one year. Frozen egg products cannot be refrozen once thawed. Use within three days of thawing.
  • Defrost only as needed. To defrost, place unopened containers in the refrigerator or under cold water.

Handling

  • Start with a clean area and utensils to prevent the spread of bacteria.
  • Never purchase cracked eggs. If eggs crack after purchase, break them into a clean container, cover, keep refrigerated and use within 2 days. If eggs crack during hard cooking, they are safe.
  • Wash hands, utensils, equipment and work surfaces thoroughly in hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after contact with any food. Use plastic or other non-porous cutting boards to guard against bacteria surviving in pores. Clean cutting boards after each use, in the dishwasher or by washing with hot, soapy water. For further protection, sanitize boards with a bleach-like solution.
  • Do not wash eggs before use. Eggshells are washed and sanitized before packing and incorrect home procedures might infect the contents.
  • Use paper towels or wash cloths (changed often) to clean kitchen surfaces.
  • To prevent cross-contamination, rewash after preparing each food item, as well as after using the bathroom, changing diapers, contacting with body fluids or handling pets.
  • Resist the urge to taste mixtures containing eggs, like cookie dough or cake batter, before they cook.

Cooking

  • For scrambled eggs, omelets and frittatas, cook eggs until no visible liquid remains.
  • Fried eggs should be cooked until whites are completely set and yolks are thickened but not hard.
  • Cooking eggs thoroughly (with the white and yolk firm) is important to destroy bacteria.
  • Egg white coagulates at 144-149° F, egg yolk coagulates at 149-158° F and whole eggs at 144- 158°
  • For classic poached eggs, cook gently in simmering water until the whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard.  Avoid precooking and reheating poached eggs.
  • For custards, eggnog and ice cream bases, cook until mixture reaches 160°F or higher.  Cool quickly by setting the pan in ice or cold water and stirring for a few minutes. Cover and refrigerate to chill thoroughly, at least one hour.
  • Bake meringues until they reach 160°F (about 15 minutes).  The more egg whites used, the lower the temperature and longer the time is needed to cook the meringue completely without excessive browning. Refrigerate meringue-topped pies until serving and refrigerate leftovers.
  • Hard-cooked eggs should reach an internal temperature of more than 160°F.  After cooking, cool under water or in ice water.  Immediately after cooling, refrigerate eggs in their shell and use up to one week. Use a thermometer in the center and around sides to ensure foods like French toast, quiches, baked goods and casseroles, are cooked properly. The thermometer should reach 160°F.
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