Egg Storage & 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
  • Frozen whole eggs (blended): use within 4 months

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 freezer container and seal tightly.  Label the container with the number of eggs and date.  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, eventually becoming so gelatinous that they are almost impossible to use in a recipe.  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 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: Carefully place the yolks in a single layer in a saucepan and add enough water to come at least 1 inch above the yolks.  Cover quickly and bring just to a boil.  Remove from heat and let stand, covered, in the hot water for about 15 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well, pour into freezer container and seal tightly.  Label the container with the number of egg yolks and date.  Hard-cooked whole eggs and egg whites should not be frozen, as they become tough and watery.

Handling Eggs:

When preparing perishable foods, including eggs, follow these recommendations to help ensure food is prepared safely

  1. Clean: Wash hands and surfaces often, with warm, soapy water (before and after food preparation).  Proper hand washing may eliminate nearly half of all cases of food-borne illness.
  2. Chill: Refrigerate/freeze food promptly.  Cold temperatures can prevent the growth of most types of harmful bacteria.
  3. Separate: Don’t cross-contaminate.  Keep raw meat/poultry/seafood and their juices separate from one another and other food during storage and preparation.
  4. Cook: Cook meat, poultry and eggs to proper temperatures.