Woman pulling an open carton of brown eggs out of a refrigerator
Cooking Tips

Egg Storage & Handling

Did you know the door is the warmest place in your refrigerator? Eggs belong in the coldest part of your fridge.


  • Keep eggs in their original carton; this is so you can check the Julian date (when the eggs were packed) or expiration date.
    * When kept refrigerated, fresh shell eggs are safe to be consumed four to five weeks beyond the date they were packed, which is the Julian date.
  • Place carton in the coldest part of the refrigerator – not in the door; temperatures fluctuate when it is opened and closed.


  • Never purchase cracked eggs. If eggs crack after purchase, break them into a clean container, cover, keep refrigerated and use within 2 days. If eggs crack during hard cooking, they are safe.
  • Do not wash eggs before use. Eggshells are washed and sanitized before packing.


  • For scrambled eggs, omelets and frittatas, cook eggs until no visible liquid remains.
  • Fried eggs should be cooked until whites are completely set and yolks are thickened but not hard.
  • Cooking eggs thoroughly (with the white and yolk firm) is important to destroy bacteria.
  • Egg white coagulates at 144-149° F, egg yolk coagulates at 149-158° F and whole eggs at 144- 158°
  • For classic poached eggs, cook gently in simmering water until the whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard. Avoid precooking and reheating poached eggs.
  • For custards, eggnog and ice cream bases, cook until mixture reaches 160°F or higher. Cool quickly by setting the pan in ice or cold water and stirring for a few minutes. Cover and refrigerate to chill thoroughly, at least one hour.
  • Bake meringues until they reach 160°F (about 15 minutes). The more egg whites used, the lower the temperature and longer the time is needed to cook the meringue completely without excessive browning. Refrigerate meringue-topped pies until serving and refrigerate leftovers.
  • Hard-cooked eggs should reach an internal temperature of more than 160°F. After cooking, cool under water or in ice water. Immediately after cooling, refrigerate eggs in their shell and use up to one week. Use a thermometer in the center and around sides to ensure foods like French toast, quiches, baked goods and casseroles, are cooked properly. The thermometer should reach 160°F.


  • Fresh eggs can be frozen, but not in the shell.
  • To freeze, break the egg and place whole eggs, yolks or egg whites in a tightly-sealed container. Label with the date.
  • Refrigerated liquid eggs can be placed unopened in the freezer.
  • Eggs and egg products can be stored in the freezer up to one year. Frozen egg products cannot be refrozen once thawed. Use within three days of thawing.
  • Defrost only as needed. To defrost, place unopened containers in the refrigerator or under cold water.

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