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Egg Storage, Freshness &
Food Safety

Safely storing and handling eggs will help ensure you always enjoy fresh, safe eggs!

At the grocery store

When buying eggs at a retail store be sure to follow these recommendations:

  • Buy only Canadian Grade-A eggs or eggs with the EQA symbol
  • 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

Once you get home, follow these recommendations:

  • Refrigerate eggs immediately in the main body of your fridge (to ensure they are stored at a more consistent, cooler temperature), ideally at 4˚ Celsius.
  • Store eggs in their original carton with the large end up (this helps keep yolk centred!). This protects eggs, prevents them from absorbing odours and keeps the ‘best before’ date visible.
  • 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 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 Yolk

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 have 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.

Egg Substitution

Unless otherwise specified, most recipes are written using large eggs! Generally, medium or extra-large eggs can be used instead, unless you are working with whipped egg whites or baking. Check out the egg substitution guide below:

# Eggs RequiredSmallMediumExtra Large
1 egg211
2 eggs322
3 eggs443
4 eggs653
5 eggs764
6 eggs875

Egg Freshness 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:


  • 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

Tips for cooking eggs

For best results when cooking eggs and to prevent toughness, use moderate heat and controlled cooking times. Check out the following for more tips on cooking eggs:

Non-stick Pans

A good non-stick pan is ideal for cooking eggs. It will help prevent eggs from sticking and they are easy to clean.


A whisk is the most effective took to help make your scrambled eggs fluffy or to stiffen egg whites for meringues.


A flipping spatula with a broad, flat, flexible blade is ideal for flipping fried eggs or pancakes. A rubber spatula is ideal for baking because it hugs the bowl to help mix all the ingredients. A wooden spatula is ideal for scrambling eggs and making omelets.

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