• Store and transport raw shell eggs at an ambient temperature of 45°F or below.
  • Upon receipt, check that eggs appear intact with no cracks, chips or breaks, and are not leaking. If any eggs are found in this state, break into a clean container, cover tightly, keep refrigerated, and use within two days.


  • Store eggs in original packaging and separate from foods with strong odors like fish or onions, to prevent moisture loss and cross-contamination.
  • If stored properly, eggs will retain quality for several weeks.


  • Individuals preparing food should always wash their hands with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling. Always wash hands after returning from the restroom and after blowing nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If the person preparing the food has cuts or abrasions on their hands, they should wear rubber gloves. The work area or kitchen should be very clean and all surface areas should be washed thoroughly.
  • Utensils and cutting boards should be washed or sanitized and air dried or patted down with paper towels after each use. Use clean utensils and serving platters when handling raw foods. Any bacteria present on raw meat or eggs can contaminate cooked products and utensils.
  • When using a food thermometer, wash before reinserting it into food.


Thaw frozen eggs properly to avoid bacteria growth.

  • Refrigerator allows slow, safe thawing, but check that products do not drip.
  • Cold Water:  For faster thawing, place food in a leak-proof plastic bag, submerge in cold tap water and change water every 30 minutes.
  • Microwave by using the defrost or similar button. Cook products immediately after microwave thawing.


  • Hot food should be kept at 140° F or warmer.
  • In a buffet, keep food hot with chafing dishes, slow cookers and warming trays.
  • Cold food should be held at 40° F or colder using ice.
Handling Questions? We've got Egg Answers

How long are eggs safe to eat, if kept refrigerated? What’s the best way to store eggs? These and other answers can be found in our Egg Answers.

Safe Handling Egg Answers