On U.S. farms, eggs are typically shipped from the farm within one week of being laid. Egg production is an efficient and well-regulated process, to ensure the eggs you purchase are fresh, wholesome and safe for consumption.
After eggs are laid, they are washed and processed, generally being handled by machines instead of human hands to decrease potential damage and exposure to contaminants. Through candling, eggs are inspected inside and out.
Eggs are moved as soon as possible to a refrigerated storage room on the farm. Eggs must be refrigerated within 36 hours of lay, per regulations by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). From the farm’s refrigerated storage, they are shipped as quickly as possible, making room for newly-laid eggs as the cycle continues.
Eggs remain refrigerated through transport to stores and restaurants, also according to FDA regulations. When kept at 45 degrees F or colder, fresh shell eggs are safe to be consumed four to five weeks beyond the date the eggs were packed.
Once at the grocery store, make sure you buy safe, quality eggs and refrigerate in the original carton as soon as you return home. Handle eggs safely when preparing dishes and cook eggs to the proper temperature to ensure food safety.