Safe egg handling
When handling eggs, there are specific safe egg handling practices that should always be used to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill from eggs. Key rules when handling eggs include:
- Don’t use eggs if they’re cracked or dirty – dirty eggs indicate that bacteria may be on the egg shell, cracks on egg shells mean that bacteria might inside the shell.
- Don’t wash eggs to remove dirt – egg shells are porous, if you wash eggs the water makes it easier for bacteria to get inside the shell.
- Store your eggs in the fridge away from ready to eat foods – storing eggs in the fridge will make bacteria grow slower, storing them away from other foods helps to protect those foods from contamination.
- Throw egg shells into the bin immediately after cracking - throw the shells directly into the bin to avoid spreading contamination to bench tops and other surfaces in the kitchen.
- Cook eggs to 72°C – if you cook eggs thoroughly, you will kill most pathogenic microorganisms, including Salmonella.
- Refrigerate raw egg products immediately after making and consume within 24 hours – keeping them for less time and below 5°C will limit bacterial growth.
- Wash your hands after handling eggs – wash your hands thoroughly to remove any bacteria from your hands that could have been on the shell, see: Hand Hygiene with Adam Liaw and remember, you don’t want to be the one spreading contamination around your kitchen!
Remember, whenever you are preparing food, you should always use hygienic practices. Tips on safe food handling in the home, including a dish using a raw egg sauce, are available in the clip Food Safety Fundamentals with Adam Liaw.
Food businesses need to be particularly careful when handling eggs to prevent the spread of contamination to surfaces and other foods. Specific information for food businesses is available on the Egg food safety web page.
For more information on safe egg handling see: