Storage and Handling

The following recommendations will help ensure you always enjoy fresh, safe eggs.

At the grocery store:

  • Buy only Canadian Grade-A eggs.
  • Check the ‘Best Before’ date on the egg carton.
  • Pick them up last (eggs are perishable and require refrigeration).
  • Ask to have them bagged with frozen items.

At home:

  • Refrigerate eggs immediately, in the main body of the fridge (to ensure they are stored at a more consistent, cooler temperature), ideally at 4°C.
  • Store eggs in their original carton (protects eggs, prevents from absorbing strong odours, keeps ‘Best Before’ date visible), with the large end up (helps yolk remain centered).
  • Leftover raw egg whites and yolks should be put in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator immediately.  To prevent yolks from drying out, cover them with a little cold water.  Drain the water before using.

Recommended storage times:

  • Raw whole eggs: use by ‘Best Before’ date
  • Raw yolks or whites: use within 2-4 days
  • Prepared egg dishes: use within 3-4 days
  • Hard-cooked whole eggs: use within 1 week
  • Pickled eggs: use within 1 month

Freezing eggs:

Eggs can be frozen, but not in the shell.  Here are some easy instructions for freezing eggs:

  • Whole Eggs: Beat eggs until blended, pour into freezer container and seal tightly.  Label the container with the number of eggs and date.
  • Egg Whites: Break and separate the eggs one at a time, making sure that no yolk is mixed in with the whites.  Pour into a freezer container and seal tightly.  Label the container with the number of eggs and date.  Tip: for faster thawing and easier measuring, first freeze each egg white in an ice cube tray and then transfer to a freezer container.
  • Egg Yolks: An egg yolk will thicken or gel when frozen.  To help slow this process, beat in either 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt or 1 ½ tsp (7 mL) sugar or corn syrup, per ¼ cup (50 mL) of egg yolks (4 yolks).  Pour into a freezer container and seal tightly.  Label the container with the number of egg yolks and date, as well as whether you’ve added salt (for main dishes) or sweetener (for desserts or baking).
  • Hard-cooked Egg Yolks: Hard-cooked egg yolks can be frozen for later use as toppings or garnishes.  An easy way to freeze them is to put them in an ice cube tray.  Once frozen, transfer to a freezer container and label with date.

Handling Eggs:

Like all perishable foods, eggs are enjoyed best when properly handled.  Follow these tips for safe food handling at home:

  • Wash hands, utensils, equipment and work areas with hot soapy water before and after food preparation.
  • Wash containers and utensils that have been used for raw egg mixture before re-using, even for another raw egg mixture.
  • When entertaining, serve all egg dishes within 2 hours.  Cold egg dishes and beverages should be kept on ice.
  • Serve eggs and egg-rich foods immediately after cooking or refrigerate and serve within 3 to 4 days.

Tips:

The “best before date” is the best way to determine the freshness of eggs.  But there are other ways to tell if an egg is fresh:

Fresh

Older

Yolk sits up high and the white is thick and closely surrounds the yolk.

Sinks in water.

Cloudy egg white

Yolk is flat and breaks easily.

Floats in water

Watery, thin egg white