Updated: Jun 30
Scrambled or fried, over easy or hard boiled, eggs are one of the most popular foods consumed around the world. On average, Americans eat 245 eggs per year.
Store-bought eggs in America are washed. This became the standard when salmonella outbreaks were common. Washing removes bacteria from the eggshell, resulting in a safer food product. But it also strips away a protective layer of mucus called the bloom. That’s why American eggs are refrigerated. Keeping the temperature below 45 degrees F prevents bacterial growth.
Farm fresh eggs are usually unprocessed, and the egg retains the protective bloom. In this case eggs don't need to be refrigerated, but best practice continues to be cold storage.
Eggs should be kept in the coldest part of your fridge with the most consistent temperature. If warm air causes condensation to form on cold eggs, bacteria can grow and leach into the egg. Generally, eggs should be stored on a middle shelf in the back but that depends on your model.
The date on your egg carton indicates peak quality, not food safety. Eggs can be consumed for 3-5 weeks after purchase. Use your own judgement and continue to cook your eggs to 160 degrees F.
When your eggs are getting toward the end of their peak quality, you can scramble and freeze an uncooked egg mixture. Thoroughly mix yolks and whites. Do not whip in air. To prevent graininess of the yolks, add 1-½ tablespoons sugar, 1-½ tablespoons corn syrup OR ½ teaspoon salt per cup of whole eggs, depending on intended use. Strain through a sieve or colander to improve uniformity. Freeze the egg mixture in ice trays. Measure 3 tablespoons of egg mixture into each compartment, freeze until solid. Remove cubes, and package in moisture-vapor resistant containers. Store in the freezer. One cube is equal to one whole egg. (https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze/eggs.html)
Eggshells are great for your compost. You can even grind them up to add calcium directly into the soil.
Eggs are one of the most versatile foods consumed on earth. Whether served as a merengue or curd, baked into a dish or used as the main course, practicing good egg storage and preservation helps make sure that Wasted Food Stops with Us!