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Egg Food Safety

Ally Maddox assisting with egg demonstration video on preventing cross contamination of eggs.

When it comes to safe food handling and preventing cross contamination we can never be too safe.  Eggs are one of nature’s most nutritious and economical foods. Most individuals get their eggs in cartons that look clean and ready to eat.  Even though that egg appears to be normal there is always the possibility that Salmonella bacteria might be present.  Salmonella is a bacteria that causes foodborne illness and can be found both inside the shell of the egg and on the outside of the shell.  Eggs are more susceptible to bacterial growth once the shell and membranes are broken, the egg is exposed to oxygen, and the nutrients from the white and the yolk are mixed.  Salmonella can make you sick, especially if you eat raw or lightly cooked eggs.  Eggs are safe when you cook and handle them properly. Let’s look at nutrition facts and safe handling tips for eggs along with how to safely crack an egg to prevent cross contamination.

Nutrition Facts:    

Carton of eggs with nutrition information.

Did you know Eggs contain the highest quality protein and are often used as a standard to measure the quality of other protein sources?   Eggs also have the highest biological value of any protein, meaning the essential amino acids they provide are used very efficiently by the body. One large egg has only 70 calories and provides six grams of protein or 12% of the daily requirement plus 13 essential vitamins and minerals.  Eggs contain varying amounts of vitamins A, D, E, K, B6, B12, folate, and the minerals, calcium, selenium, phosphorus and iron.  Eggs are frequently included in therapeutic diets because they are very easy to digest.

Step-by-Step Guide to a Truly Flawless Technique:  How to Crack an Egg:

Have you ever fallen victim to eating bits and pieces of eggshell after incorrectly cracking an egg into a bowl of batter or atop a greased skillet?  It can definitely spoil your breakfast, dessert or meal prepared with eggs.  Grab an extra bowl and start cracking eggs like a pro to prevent those unwanted egg shells.

2.)  Using your thumbs to separate the egg shell after it is cracked,

1.)  Ally swiftly tapping an egg once against the counter.

Step 1:  Using a clean, flat surface, such as your kitchen counter, grasp the egg in your hand and swiftly tap the egg once against the counter.

Step 2:  Use your thumbs to separate the egg shell where it’s cracked and tip the egg into a separate bowl or ramekin before adding it to your main ingredients or frying pay.  This allows you to make sure the egg is still fresh and ensure no bits of egg shell remain.

Step 3 and 4:  If there is unwanted egg shell in the bowl take a spoon to gentle remove all the egg shell.  After you have checked the egg for freshness and removed any unwanted eggshell pour the egg into your mixing bowl or frying pan.

4.)  Pouring egg into mixing bowl

3.)  Removing unwanted egg shell with a spoon

Egg Handling and Storage:
  • Make sure the eggs are clean and aren’t broken or cracked. Check your eggs. Open the carton make sure eggs are clean and none are cracked. “If one cracks on the way home, just make sure to cook it within 24 hours
  • Keep eggs in their original carton and place them in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
  • Always wash hands with soap and warm water.

    Store eggs in the carton in the coldest part of the refrigerator not in the door.

  • Take out only as many eggs as needed for immediate use. Do not stack egg flats (trays) near the grill or stove.
  • Use only clean, un-cracked eggs.
  • Eggs should not be washed before using; they are washed and sanitized before they are packed.
  • Use clean, sanitized utensils and equipment.
  • Never mix the shell with internal contents of the egg.
  • Do not reuse a container (blender, bowl & mixer) after it has had raw egg mixture in it and clean and sanitize the container thoroughly before using again.
  • Do not leave eggs out more than two hours, as a cold egg left at room temperature can sweat, which may cause bacteria growth.
  • Never leave egg dishes at room temperature more than one hour (including preparation and service time).

Follow these tips and guidelines while you enjoy one of natures most nutritious and economical foods EGGS!

For more information contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Office https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/find-your-local-office/

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