Whether eggs are from a store or your local farmer, safe handling and cooking will reduce the chance of getting sick. Even the cleanest eggs that do not have cracks in the shell can contain salmonella, which can cause food borne illness, often called “food poisoning.” The following are recommendations to handle, cook, serve, and store eggs and egg dishes.
Buying and Storing Eggs
- Only buy and prepare eggs that have been refrigerated. If an egg has salmonella, lack of refrigeration will allow bacteria grow very fast. Use eggs in the shell within 3 weeks of purchase.
- Eggs should be cooked until the yolk is firm. Scrambled eggs should not be runny. Cook all dishes that contain eggs, such as quiches and casseroles, to at least 165 degrees. F. Cooking eggs to 165 degrees F will kill salmonella.
- Cool egg-containing food in the refrigerator immediately.
- Use leftover egg dishes within one week.
Hard Boiled Eggs
- Immediately after cooking hard boiled eggs, cool the eggs with cold running water. Then remove eggs from the water, and place in the refrigerator.
- Eat hard boiled eggs within 1 week of cooking.
- Peel hard boiled eggs with clean hands.
- Liquid pasteurized eggs, when refrigerated properly, should be used by the date on the carton.
- Liquid, pasteurized, in-the-shell eggs are also now available. These eggs look the same as regular eggs, are pasteurized, and can be used for all kinds of egg dishes.
- The egg cartons will be marked as “pasteurized”.
For more information about food safety, visit: www.oneidacountypublichealth.org or www.foodsafety.gov