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.
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
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
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.