Eggs

Eggs are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and protein. But you should be careful whenever you handle fresh eggs. Here’s all you need to know about shopping, storing and cooking eggs to keep you and your family safe.

Make eggs one of your last stops when shopping.

The longer eggs lay around in your cart, the greater the chance they’ll get warm enough to reach unsafe temperatures. Once that happens, bacteria can grow. And there’s nothing good about that.

Be sure to look before you buy.

How do you know you’re buying safe eggs? First, you should always take the time to open the carton and check for broken or cracked eggs, leakage and dirt or other contaminants. You don’t need any nasty bacteria coming home with you.

Check the date!

The container is usually stamped with a "sell-by" or use-by" date. According to the USDA you'll want to buy the eggs before that date expires.

Store eggs away from other food in your cart.

Be careful how you handle cartons of eggs. Don’t place them near ready-to-eat food such as produce, bread or deli items. If a shell should crack and raw egg spill out, it could contaminate other food. You’ll also want to keep eggs away from any raw meat or poultry in your
cart – if their fluids drip onto your eggs it could easily contaminate them.

Keep eggs cool on the car ride home.

If it’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk, protect your eggs! If your ride home takes more than a few minutes, get in the habit of storing your eggs in insulated shopping bags or keep an old-fashioned cooler in your car. At the very least, keep your eggs in the air-conditioned passenger section rather than in the trunk.

Keep your shopping route as short as possible.

When you’re done buying groceries, go straight home. Running errands after shopping is always a bad idea because it puts your food at risk. Do other chores first so when you leave the store you arrive home promptly.

 

Refrigerate your eggs as fast as possible.

Unload your groceries and get eggs in the refrigerator at warp speed! The longer they sit out, the greater the chance that any bacteria on the eggs will grow. If that happens, you or your family could easily get sick.

Store eggs in their original carton.

Even if your refrigerator door has its own egg compartment, you shouldn’t use it for two reasons: it’s near the door which is the warmest spot in the fridge; and, if you don’t have the carton, you won’t have the “use-by” date and know when to throw them out.

Keep checking the dates.

The USDA says that eggs can be used for up to three to five weeks from the date you bought them.

Don’t wash the shells.

Eggs are prewashed so there’s no need to wash them before using them. Washing your eggs could actually contaminate them.

Store eggs at the correct temperature.

Your refrigerator should be set to hold food at 40°F (4°C) or lower. Eggs will keep just fine at that temp.

Label egg dishes before storing them.

Egg dishes, such as egg salad and quiche, kept at 40°F (4°C) or lower can be used for up to seven days before they must be thrown out. The count begins the day you store the dish. So, if you’re saving and labeling an egg salad prepared on Monday, its use-by date would be the following Sunday.

Wash your hands after handling eggs.

This is especially important before handling food that is ready-to-eat. See the General Food Safety section for some handwashing tips that will help keep you and your family safe.

Consider using pasteurized eggs when making certain dishes.

Eating raw eggs can be risky. So if you prepare recipes that call for them, such as tiramisu, Caesar dressing or hollandaise sauce, you may be putting people at risk. You can virtually eliminate that risk by buying pasteurized eggs for any dishes that require little or no cooking.

Cook eggs to the correct temperature.

The USDA recommends that all eggs be cooked until both the white and the yolk are firm, not runny. Eggs are safe to eat once they have reached 145°F (63°C). To be sure, use a thermometer to check them.

Never leave cooked egg dishes out for long periods of time.

Once you’re done eating an egg dish, cool it down and put it away in the refrigerator. If you’re serving it buffet style, make sure you don’t let it sit out longer than 4 hours. If you do, you’ll have to throw it out.

Clean and sanitize after preparing eggs.

A quick rinse puts everyone at risk. So don’t just clean, sanitize too! You might think you don’t have the time, but it’s an important step in keeping you and others safe. Wash, rinse and sanitize everything eggs were in contact with – that includes countertops, bowls, whisks and utensils. See the General Food Safety section to find out how to clean and sanitize safely.

Cracked EggsSanitize

 

Whisk Egg Parsley