Preparation Guidelines

To ensure food safety, whole eggs should be cooked until the white and yolk are firm. Egg-containing dishes, including quiches and casseroles, should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160° F. Scrambled eggs need to be cooked until firm throughout with no visible liquid egg remaining. Egg white coagulates between 144° F and 149° F and the yolk between 149° F and 158° F. Therefore, it is not necessary to cook eggs until rubbery in order to kill any bacteria that may be present.

  • A good rule of thumb is that whole eggs should be cooked until the white and yolk are completely coagulated (set).
  • Cook scrambled eggs in small batches no larger than 3 quarts according to rate of service, until firm throughout and there is no visible liquid egg remaining.
  • Pooling eggs, the practice of breaking large quantities of eggs together and holding before or after cooking, greatly increases the risk of bacterial growth and contamination.
  • Never leave egg or egg-containing dishes at room temperature more than one hour (including preparation and service time).
  • Egg dishes for those who are pregnant, elderly, very young or ill should be thoroughly cooked. These groups at highest risk should avoid consuming raw or undercooked eggs. Pasteurized egg products are a low-risk alternative for these groups.
  • Hold cold egg dishes below 40° F.
  • Hold hot egg dishes above 140° F. Do not hold hot foods on buffet line for longer than one hour.
  • Always cook eggs and egg dishes before placing on steam table.
  • Do not combine eggs that have been held in a steam table pan with a fresh batch of eggs. Always use a fresh steam table pan.
  • Do not add raw egg mixture to a batch of cooked scrambled eggs held on a steam table.
  • When refrigerating a large quantity of a hot egg-rich dish or leftovers, divide into several shallow containers so it will cool quickly.

For more information on egg safety, check out:
Eggs: A Natural for Any Foodservice Operation
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
Egg Safety Center
Assuring Food Safety pdf
General Egg Handling pdf

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