Yes, you are safest when buying the freshest eggs you can find from the supermarket. However, with current food prices being higher than ever, it’s tempting to buy food ingredients that are within your dwindling food budget.
Have you purchased a bag of frozen eggs? It’s tempting to buy especially since it’s so much cheaper than buying whole eggs! However, the Department of Health (DOH) and even the Philippine Egg Board have issued warnings about purchasing such eggs.
How do you use frozen eggs?
You should know first that the Philippines National Standard for Table Eggs does have a list of minimum requirements for a fresh egg to be a “good egg”:
- • the egg white is still firm and the egg yolk is still whole
- • no visible cracks on the eggshell
- • no foreign odors
- • must be clean
If you have frozen eggs in a bag, you may not be able to check if the egg white and yolk are still firm and whole respectively, but you can tell if the eggs smell bad. Apart from the government health warnings, this is a telltale sign that you should not buy those eggs. Look for another vendor or better yet, buy whole eggs that have no cracks, are clean, and don’t smell like anything.
If you’re still worried about any eggs you do buy that are still the shell, there is only one way to know whether the whole eggs you are going to buy are free from cracks, breaks, and other unsafe signs: check each egg in the tray yourself. We know it’s tedious but these telltale signs should alert you to a bad egg even before you even crack that egg in a bowl to check if it’s still fresh.
However, with a bag of frozen eggs, it’s hard to check for these signs. Here’s what you can do if you do want to use these frozen eggs:
1 Always cook frozen eggs completely.
Make scrambled eggs. Make an omelet. Bake cupcakes and cookies. Use these eggs as if you beat them yourself but under no circumstances should you eat them raw or even partially cooked! Since you are no longer assured of the safety of the eggs, it’s best to be safe than sorry later on.
2 Use the eggs as soon as possible.
While we love freezing food in general, we suggest you use these eggs as soon as possible. Since you are unsure when these eggs were first cracked, it’s best to use these as fresh as they can stay. That means if you have egg recipes and dishes with eggs you have always wanted to make, let these eggs encourage you to try them out.
3 Keep the eggs frozen.
It’s hard to measure out the eggs when frozen but the best way to keep these eggs as fresh as possible is to keep them frozen! If the eggs are thawed, these will age the eggs: the egg whites will be more liquid and the yolks will turn opaque, appear milkier, and might even develop a gel-like texture. That’s why it’s best to consume these eggs as soon as possible or if able, portion out the eggs into sanitized containers as soon as you you get home and freeze them immediately.
Are you turned off from buying frozen eggs and looking at fresh whole eggs?
Here is a refresher on what you should do to ensure that the eggs you do have are safe to consume:
1 Don’t wash eggs.
Should you wash eggs? Eggs are generally gently washed under food safety conditions before being sold to consumers. Eggs are fragile and can easily break if not handled properly. This process usually removes visible signs it came from the chicken coop (such as chicken poop aka the icky ipot, feathers, and other signs it came from a farm.)
While you can wash eggs after purchasing them to ease your mind about the cleanliness of your eggs, it’s best not to. Why? Washing eggs may actually increase the risk of contaminating the egg within the shell. According to the Egg Safety Center, eggs being sold from groceries, supermarkets, and even wholesalers have already gone through food safety standards. Egg production facilities ensure that eggs have been washed and sanitized before it’s packed, so doing it again may compromise the eggs.
Unless you can safely say the water, towel, or whatever you are going to use to clean the egg is itself “clean” and free of contaminants, you should not wash eggs.
2 Store eggs properly.
Are you still storing eggs in the container on the door of your refrigerator? You should be storing eggs on a shelf inside the main compartment of your refrigerator instead since, when eggs are properly chilled, eggs will stay fresher longer. The door, while convenient, isn’t the coolest area.
3 Place eggs pointed side down.
Not only should you be storing eggs properly, but you should also know the correct way to store them. Eggs should be stored in their containers pointed side down so the yolks are suspended in the middle of the egg and won’t become contaminated by the air pocket inside.
4 Freeze eggs you cracked yourself.
Making leche flan requires using only the yolk, while frostings such as Swiss buttercream and Italian buttercream are based only oon egg whites. These recipes tend to leave you with extra egg whites or yolks only, but that doesn’t mean you need to discard them. One of the best ways to save food waste is to freeze these leftovers since you do not have to discard the egg yolks or the whites for recipes that do not use whole eggs.