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Handling and Storing Eggs

Six eggs with cracked egg behind

Handling and Storing Eggs

What points should you consider when buying eggs?

  • Choose eggs with clean, uncracked shells
  • Don't buy out-of-date eggs
  • Choose the size most useful and economical for your lifestyle.

Why should eggs be refrigerated?

Avoiding temperature fluctuation is critical to egg safety. A cold egg left out at room temperature can sweat, facilitating the growth of bacteria that could contaminate the egg. Refrigerated eggs should not be left out for more than two hours.

What’s the best way to store eggs?

The best way to keep eggs is to store them in their original carton in the refrigerator as soon as possible after purchase. Cartons reduce water loss and protect flavours from other foods being absorbed into the eggs. Storing eggs loose, or in specially designed sections of the refrigerator is not recommended as this also exposes eggs to greater risk of damage.

How long do eggs last?

Fresh eggs can be kept refrigerated for up to 6 weeks but always check the use by date displayed on the carton. It is best to put eggs in the fridge as soon as you get them home.

I’ve had a carton of eggs in my fridge for a few weeks. Can I still use them?

Yes. Older eggs are ideal for baking cakes, quiches and frittatas. They are also perfect for hard-boiling, scrambling, and making omelettes. When hard-boiling, it’s actually better to use eggs that are a little bit older because the white is less likely to stick to the shell. Fresher eggs are better for poaching and frying because they hold their shape.

How can I tell if an egg is still fresh?

A quick and fun test for egg freshness is to pop them in a bowl of water. Fresh eggs will stay at the bottom of the bowl while older eggs float because of the large air cell that forms in its base.

Why do hard-cooked eggs spoil faster than fresh eggs?

When shell eggs are hard cooked, the protective coating is washed away leaving the pores in the shell open for bacteria to enter. Hard-cooked eggs should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking and used within one week.

Want to see what an egg farm looks like? Take this interactive 360 degree tour to see how eggs are produced in Australia.

Free range farm with two people