Keep eggs fresh and protected with these simple steps.
Many people think that storing eggs in the plastic holder that comes standard in most refrigerator doors is the way to go. Why else would fridge manufacturers add that nifty little feature?
However, this is a common misconception, so it’s time we set the record straight: This method is far from the best way to store eggs in your refrigerator.
Turns out, leaving eggs in their store-bought container and storing them on the middle shelf of your fridge is actually the best way to keep them fresh longer.
So if you, like many others, having been storing your eggs all wrong for quite some time now, learning these five often overlooked do’s and don’ts of smarter egg storage can help you fix your faux-pas and quickly improve your food safety IQ.
1. Don’t ditch the store-bought carton.
No matter how much you love those adorable ceramic egg cartons or want to make use of the plastic egg-holder insert that came with your fridge, keeping your eggs in the Styrofoam or cardboard container you purchased them in is your best bet. These materials do a better job of cushioning your eggs to prevent breakage. Plus, the “best by” date is clearly marked, too.
2. Do keep eggs in a closed carton at all times.
Along with other criteria, in order for an egg to be USDA-grade, it’s required by law that eggshells be sanitized before being packaged and sold. But this process actually strips the eggshells of their natural protective oils — that makes the shells’ thousands of tiny pores more easily permeated by strong odors that could be lurking in your fridge. That’s why storing your eggs in their original, closed carton will help protect them from absorbing any strange food scents that could be circulating.
3. Don’t store eggs in the door of your refrigerator.
You may be under the common misconception that eggs should be stored in the door of your refrigerator, but the truth is, eggs are best stored in the main portion of your fridge on the middle shelf, ideally toward the back. The reasoning is that the temperature of your fridge stays the coldest and most consistent in this area, whereas the temperature of your refrigerator door, on the other hand, is prone to fluctuations, since it gets opened and closed regularly. And since eggs should be stored at temperatures of 45°F or lower, according to EggSafety.com, those fluctuations could pose a food-safety risk.
4. Do keep eggs facing upside-down in the carton.
We’re conditioned to think that the pointed side of the egg is the top, while the larger, more rounded side is the bottom, so it only makes sense that that’s how we’d naturally arrange them in their carton, if we were putting them in ourselves. But the next time you buy a carton of eggs, take a look at how they’re oriented — they should be round side up, pointed side down (assuming no one has messed with any). That’s because there’s a naturally occurring air bubble inside each egg’s rounded side, which helps keep the yolk more centered inside the egg and, in turn, will help your eggs stay fresh longer.
5. Don’t return used eggshells to the carton or reuse cartons.
Since eggshells are so permeable, bacteria that forms on used eggshells can easily contaminate the rest of your eggs, making them unsafe to eat — so never return used eggs to a carton, if you don’t plan on discarding it immediately. And you should never reuse an old egg carton for that same reason, too. According to the Food Safety and Inspection Service, “Egg cartons have been approved for a specific use and should be considered one-time-use packaging. Bacteria from foods that these packages once contained may remain