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Avoid Salmonellosis

Egg Definitions

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Mayo VS Miracle Whip

Safe Handling of Eggs

Selecting Eggs

Storing Eggs

The Egg Quiz

Learn more about eggs in our "Fun & Facts" section, including how to hard boil an egg easily.

Selecting Your Eggs for Optimal Freshness

OK, we’ve all gone to the store and wondered what was the correct way to purchase, store and handling eggs. In this article, we will take the mystery out of the egg buying process. We’ll discuss what to look for and some proven tips to safely handle eggs.

Selection Process:

1. Choose AA or A Grade. First and foremost, you have to decide which grade of egg you intend to purchase. The USDA provides a grading service for shelled eggs and it means that they have been evaluated both internally and externally and are then sorted according to weight (size). However quality and size are not related. Grade AA and A eggs are thought to hold their shape well, have taller yolks, thicker egg whites, and more prominent chalaza. In comparison, Grade B eggs have flattened yolks and tend to be thinner and are typically used by food manufacturers and bakers.

2. Choose Right Size. Second, you have to decide what size of egg you would like. There are many sizes including jumbo, extra large, large, medium, small and peewee. The important thing to remember is that size of the egg is a reflection of the age, weight and breed of the hen as older hens produce bigger eggs. Keep in mind that most recipes require larger eggs.

3. Brown or White Shells? Third, decide whether you prefer brown or white eggs. The color of the egg is not related to freshness but to the breed of the hen as white eggs are created by hens with white feathers and ear lobes whereas hens with red feathers and red lobes produce brown.

4. Check for Freshness. Fourth, you have to carefully select your eggs to ensure that they are the freshest that they can possibly do. Therefore, pay attention to the carton and Julian dates. The carton date includes the date the eggs were packed as well as their expiration date (dates that they shouldn’t be sold to the public, which is typically 30 days after the packing date.) Whereas the Julian date is a numbering system that is periodically used on egg cartons to describe the day the eggs are packed. If you use this date, the eggs can typically be stored in their cartons for 4-5 weeks beyond this date.

5. Evaluate. Fifth, take time to thoroughly evaluate your eggs to make sure that they are clean, well refrigerated, and soundly shelled. If you notice a crack in any of the eggs, then don’t purchase them. You should also look for a rough shell and ensure that it is translucent. Stay away from eggs that appear dark when you hold it up.

6. Check Weight. Sixth, weigh the egg carton to determine if it is heavy because the heavier the eggs the fresher it is.

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