Eggs are essential ingredients in a variety of recipes. Whether you're using this protein-packed food in casseroles or baked goods, be sure to keep these food safety tips in mind when buying, storing and cooking with eggs:
- Choose a carton that is cold. Check to see eggs are clean and aren't broken or cracked.
- To reduce the amount of time eggs are out of refrigeration, pick them up toward the end of your shopping trip.
- Store eggs in the original packaging in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Do not use the pre-made egg cups in the door where eggs are susceptible to warmer air from the door opening and closing.
- Fresh eggs in shell will last 3 to 5 weeks in the refrigerator.
- Hard-boiled eggs can last a week in the refrigerator, in or out of the shell.
- If you can't eat your eggs before the expiration date, freeze them. Eggs will keep as long as a year in the freezer. To store, beat whole eggs until just blended, pour into freezer-safe containers, seal tightly and place in a freezer set below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Label the container with the number of eggs included and the date. When you are ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator.
- Whether you're boiling, frying or scrambling eggs, make sure the yolks and whites are firm, not runny.
- Cook egg dishes like quiche or casseroles to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Proper cooking temperatures kill harmful bacteria present in food. Use a food thermometer to check the doneness of dishes containing eggs.
- Never eat raw eggs. This includes raw cookie dough and cake batter.
- When a recipe calls for raw eggs, like Caesar salad dressing, use a liquid pasteurized egg or egg substitute instead.
Reviewed April 2014