We all have a cracked egg on our hands from time to time. Sometimes we buy them broken in the store, and sometimes we crack them unintentionally. Eggs are perishable food. Their shell has pores, and if you don’t handle eggs properly, any bacteria or impurity can end up inside the egg. Being aware of that fact, one must wonder what to do with a cracked egg.
The cracked egg is not dangerous, but it would not be our first choice either. It’s pretty safe to eat, but would we recommend eating it – well, if you have more eggs on your hands, don’t risk it, throw it away. We’ll give you more details on this question below.
In general, The USDA strongly recommends not buying cracked eggs, but if eggs crack on your way home from the store, you can refrigerate them and use them within two days.
Is cracked egg safe to eat?
That will depend on whether you bought a cracked egg or broke it accidentally by yourself.
When buying eggs in the store, check the egg container you want to buy. If eggs have cracklings, don’t buy them – says the USDA, Food Safety and Inspection Service. You shouldn’t use store-bought cracked eggs since you don’t know for how long they have been cracked. Salmonella is more likely to be found in eggs with weak or cracked shells than whole undamaged eggs.
The situation changes if you accidentally cracked an egg or crack it the night before to use it in egg dishes the day after. In that case, eggs will be safe to eat if you store them properly.
Why are cracked eggs dangerous?
Salmonella usually lurks on the eggshell surface. It can get inside an egg through egg pores, but an easier way is to crack the shell. You cannot tell if the egg is contaminated with salmonella, and that’s the most significant risk. It causes food poisoning – vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, dehydration, and other symptoms.
To stay on the safe side, never use store-bought damaged eggs, and even when you damage eggshells by yourself, make sure to put eggs in the refrigerator as soon as possible to prevent bacteria growth.
How to store cracked egg?
If you accidentally crack an egg at home, store it in the fridge or freeze it, depending on when you want to use it. Nore cracked, or undamaged eggs should never sit out at room temperature for more than two hours.
Don’t store store-cracked eggs since you can’t be sure about their safety.
How to refrigerate cracked raw eggs?
Never store eggs with cracked shells into the refrigerator door. Yes, an cold temperature will slow down bacteria growth and keep eggs safe for longer, but always keep in mind that refrigerator door temperature fluctuates due to frequent opening. Put them on the refrigerator shelf, where they’ll have a consistent and cool temperature.
Instead of that, when you crack eggs, pour them into a clean airtight container and cover tightly. The sealed container should be put in the refrigerator immediately and stored for no more than two days. If you need to save eggs for longer, freeze them.
Here is how long can eggs last in the fridge:
|Eggs||Refrigerator (35°F to 40°F)|
|Raw eggs (in shell)||4 to 5 weeks beyond the pack date|
|Raw whole eggs (slightly cracked)||Up to 2 days|
|Raw egg whites||Up to 4 days|
|Raw egg yolks||Up to 2 days|
|Hard-boiled eggs (unpeeled)||Up to 1 week|
|Hard-boiled eggs (peeled)||Up to 1 week|
How to freeze cracked eggs?
If you want to freeze eggs, you must crack them open. You can freeze them whole or egg whites and egg yolks separately.
- To freeze whole eggs, put them in the bowl, beat them, and pout into freezer containers or ice cube trays.
- To freeze raw egg yolk, you’ll need to mix it with some sugar or salt, or else egg yolk could become gel-like.
- To freeze leftover raw egg whites, store them in a clean container, zip lock bag, or an ice cube tray.
Frozen eggs can last for up to a year. Find out all about freezing eggs methods.
Here is how long can eggs be stored in the freezer:
|Eggs||Freezer (0°F or colder)|
|Raw eggs (in shell)||Not recommended|
|Raw whole eggs (slightly cracked)||Up to a year|
|Raw egg whites||Up to a year|
|Raw egg yolks||Up to a year|
|Hard-cooked eggs (unpeeled)||Not recommended|
|Hard-cooked eggs (peeled)||Not recommended|
How can you use cracked eggs?
You can use cracked eggs in all kinds of ways; besides, you cannot cook them because of the cracked shell. For soft or hard-boiled eggs, you’ll need eggs with undamaged eggshells. Still, you can make omelets, frittatas, scrambled eggs, poached eggs, casseroles, and different baked goods.
No matter which way you decide to use them, cook them properly.
Egg Safety Center recommends the following temperatures for cooking eggs, so you can be sure you destroy bacteria that could get into the egg inside:
|Type of egg dishes||Cooking temperature|
|Omelets and frittatas||160°F|
|Egg white omelet||144°F–149°F|
|Scrambled, over-easy, over-hard, fried, and poached eggs||144°F–158°F|
When to throw away cracked eggs?
Throw away cracked eggs if you brought them home from the store without noticing that they are damaged. Also, throw them away if they’ve been in your fridge for more than two days and you haven’t used them.
Tip: If eggs crack during cooking, they are safe to eat, and you don’t have to throw them away.
Will egg yolks or egg whites of cracked eggs spoil?
Both parts of an egg are prone to spoiling. You can save them in the fridge or the freezer, but left at room temperature, both can contain bacteria and be unsafe to eat.