The Incedible Edible Egg

Love the Incredible Egg? Visit for more egg recipes, tips and tricks.

Egg Saftey Cycle

Egg Safety & Handling

The INSPECT phase starts whenever you receive eggs and egg products into your kitchen.

One of the easiest ways to ensure your guests’ safe, tasty egg dishes is to frequently TEST the temperature of both hot and cold entrées.

The best way to avoid many food safety problems can be summed up in one word: CLEAN.

The final phase in the Egg Safety Cycle is TIME. Why? Because time works hand-in-hand with temperature to affect safety, quality, and taste

Assuring Food Safety

Any food, particularly protein-rich animal foods, can carry microorganisms that cause disease or spoil the food. Shell eggs without cracks have chemical and physical properties that help to deter bacterial growth. The egg shell and the membranes between the shell and the white and between the white and the yolk act as physical barriers to bacterial growth inside the egg. 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.

Divert any eggs with cracks, chips or breaks (which encourage bacteria to pass through the shell) away from the food supply. Intact eggs are washed and sanitized shortly after they are laid to remove any microorganisms that might be present on the surface of the shell. A continuation of sanitary practice (with particular emphasis on hand-washing during food preparation) is necessary to ensure that food is not re-contaminated with bacteria, viruses or parasites.

Food safety control measures include keeping eggs cool and using eggs less than 28 days old. Since bacteria can grow readily once the shell is broken, the practice of pooling eggs is discouraged. Menu items made with shell eggs and cooked in response to a consumer’s order should be prepared for immediate service. For the preparation of large quantities of eggs, pasteurized egg products are recommended. The use of a thermometer when preparing sauces and casseroles will ensure the food has reached appropriate temperatures.

Containers and utensils that have contact with raw egg must be washed and sanitized before being used again, even for the same recipe. Vulnerable populations, such as the very young or the aged, can be protected by using pasteurized egg products.

Eggs should be cooked until the whites are set (completely coagulated and firm) and the yolks begin to thicken (no longer runny, but not hard). Scrambled eggs and omelettes should be cooked until firm throughout with no visible liquid egg remaining. For egg-containing dishes, like sauces and casseroles, cook until an internal temperature of 160° F or above has been reached.


  • Store in cooler immediately upon receipt. Refrigerate at 45° F or below. Do not freeze.
  • Store shell eggs in their case.
  • Store away from foods with strong odors (such as fish, apples, cabbage or onions.)
  • Rotate - First in/First out.


  • Always wash hands with soap and warm water.
  • 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, uncracked 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. Clean and sanitize the container thoroughly before using again.
  • Never leave egg dishes at room temperature more than one hour (including preparation and service time).

Additional egg handling and safety information can be found in the materials listed below and on the next page. Copies can be ordered by filling out the requested information.

Egg Safety Training

“Egg Safety and Quality” Poster

A great way to review egg safety basics with foodservice staff. Keeps key information “top of mind.” 11-3/4" x 15", laminated, double-faced adhesive on back. In English/Spanish. Order Form.

Downloadable “Egg Safety” Handouts

The Special of the Day DVD Companion Handout-English—Download PDF
The Special of the Day DVD Companion Handout-Spanish—Download PDF
Egg Handling & Preparation-English Only—Download PDF
Egg Safety & Quality-English—Download PDF
Egg Safety & Quality-Spanish—Download PDF

“Egg Handling & Care” Guide

Complete reference brochure covers important guidelines regarding food safety and tips for safe handling of eggs and egg dishes. Includes egg doneness guidelines and how to avoid foodborne illness. 22-page booklet. Order Form.

Tags: Articles

Egg Safety & Handling