Selecting and Storing Eggs

Before we get started…a quick note.

You are working with eggs and, however sourced, eggs have the potential to make people sick. Take a look at the FDA guidelines for working with eggs. If you plan to serve them professionally and in any volume you are increasing your risk of causing illness.  So what does this mean to you and your day-to-day?

Keep eggs refrigerated until use

  • Store them in a refrigerator and keep them under 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius).  Buy them from the refrigerator case at the store after confirming your store is holding them at the correct temperature. Keep them at temperature during transport.
  • If you suspect an egg might be bad, don’t use it. You need to keep your costs down but eggs are relatively inexpensive and they aren’t worth the risk.
  • Consume eggs within 4-5 weeks of the Julian Date on the carton (below).
  • Use additional discretion when serving to the elderly, children, or anyone with a compromised immune system.

In addition to the dates, you should also check your eggs for cracks, purchase eggs that include the USDA grade mark, and buy eggs from a refrigerated case. Choose the most economical and useful egg size for your lifestyle.

The Julian Date

Eggs should be consumed within 4 to 5 weeks of the Julian date. Use the chart below to help you better understand how old your eggs are.

Week: 0Julian: 10504-14-2024
Week: 1Julian: 9804-07-2024
Week: 2Julian: 9103-31-2024
Week: 3Julian: 8403-24-2024
Week: 4Julian: 7703-17-2024
Week: 5Julian: 7003-10-2024

Eggs should be consumed within 4 to 5 weeks of the Julian date. Use the chart below to help you better understand how old your eggs are.

Week: Julian: Date
Week: 0Julian: 10504-14-2024
Week: 1Julian: 9804-07-2024
Week: 2Julian: 9103-31-2024
Week: 3Julian: 8403-24-2024
Week: 4Julian: 7703-17-2024
Week: 5Julian: 7003-10-2024

Let how know how this is working for you and if there is a way that we can improve it to support your work. Use this quick form to submit feedback.

For you, for now, for the purpose of learning

As long as I’ve stuck to the basics of food safety and FDA’s recommendations on buying and storing Grade A or AA eggs, I’ve been perfectly fine when it comes to all of my baking and pastry.  Stick to these basic food safety guidelines as well as thoughtful sanitation practices and you should be fine.

On To the Eggs

If you’re buying from a new source or in volume, check the eggs. How do you do this?

  • Use a reputable distributor
  • Check the Julian Date
  • Confirm the Freshness through a crack test

How to do a crack test

Crack one of the eggs onto a plate and look for:

  • A nice rounded yolk that is more dome shaped than disc shaped
  • Whites that are slightly opaque
  • Whites that stay closer to the yolk and that stand tall. If you’ve been cracking older or lower-quality eggs your entire life seeing a cracked fresh egg will stand out

An example of thin whites:

http://www.thepoultrysite.com/publications/1/egg-quality-handbook/30/watery-whites/

The Float test

The eggs you use shouldn’t need this test but it is a good way of knowing when a carton of eggs should be set aside. Use fresh eggs. It’s that simple. Go to the grocery, check the Julian date, and use fresh eggs. If you have some eggs at home that you aren’t sure about you can use the float test to verify freshness but as a general rule of thumb don’t serve eggs that you suspect are not fresh. Go get fresh eggs for your baking and pastry needs.

An explanation of the float test:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/test-egg-freshness_us_56965d72e4b09dbb4bad58e7

For the time being simply buy good eggs from a reliable source or a grocery store and serve them to be consumed within 4-5 weeks of the Julian date.

Pre-Cracked Carton Eggs

For now, leave these alone. There is a lot of talk on the internet about particular brands and methods that will support better use of carton egg products. We will do our best to ensure that in your efforts we will use the whole egg and not waste any ingredients. Carton egg whites and yolks are much faster but, as is the custom, contain stabilizers and other ingredients that alter the chemistry not making them ideal for learning.

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