Safe storage of eggs

Eggs can be a great addition to your diet, but keep food safety in mind when purchasing and storing your eggs.

Eggs contain 13 essential vitamins and minerals, a source of high quality protein and only have 70 calories each. However, if not properly stored, eggs can cause a potentially serious foodborne illness. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends storing your eggs in their original carton. Eggs stored in their cartons protects and prevents them from absorbing strong
odors and flavors of other foods, and keeps the “best before” date visible for freshness.

Shopping tips for purchasing eggs at the grocery store
  • Only buy eggs sold from a refrigerator or refrigerated case
  • Check eggs for cleanliness and cracks before buying
  • Store promptly in a refrigerator with temperatures 40 degree Fahrenheit or below
Storing tips for eggs
  • Use hard-cooked eggs (in the shell or peeled) within one week of cooking
  • Refrigerate leftover cooked egg dishes and use within three to four days
Preparing eggs
  • Cook eggs until both yolk and whites are firm
  • Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 F
  • Use pasteurized or shell eggs that are treated to destroy salmonella for recipes with raw or undercooked eggs
Serving eggs
  • Serve any dishes that contain cooked eggs immediately after cooking. Cooked eggs and egg dishes may be refrigerated for later service if reheated to 165 degrees F before serving
  • Never leave cooked eggs or egg dishes out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours

Michigan State University Extension recommends these safe handling tips when buying, storing, preparing and serving eggs or egg dishes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that 79,000 cases of foodborne illness and 30 deaths each year are caused by eating eggs contaminated with salmonella. Certain people are at greater risk for severe illness and include children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems. The Partnership for Food Safety Education recommends to clean, separate, cook and chill to prevent bacteria from causing foodborne illness.

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