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Publication #FCS8635

Food Safety: Play it Safe With Eggs1

Linda B. Bobroff and Jennifer Hillan2

Fresh eggs may contain bacteria that can cause salmonellosis. This foodborne illness causes vomiting and diarrhea. It can be severe and even fatal in older adults. Reduce your risk for this foodborne illness by following these guidelines.

Figure 1. 

Purchase eggs before the date on the carton. Store them in the carton in the coldest part of the refrigerator for no more than five weeks.


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Use Eggs Safely

  • Do not buy cracked eggs.

  • Purchase eggs before the date on the carton and use within three to five weeks.

  • Refrigerate raw eggs right after buying them. Keep them in the original carton in the coldest part of the refrigerator.

  • Cook eggs until both the yolk and white are firm, unless they are pasteurized eggs.

  • Cook casseroles and other egg dishes to 160°F.

  • Use pasteurized eggs in recipes that include raw eggs, such as homemade ice cream, Caesar salad dressing, or hollandaise sauce, so that the foods are safe to eat.

What about leftovers?

  • Use hard-cooked eggs within one week after cooking.

  • Refrigerate leftover egg dishes right away and use within three days.

  • Reheat leftover egg dishes to 165°F before eating.



This document is FCS8635 (la versión español de este documento es Seguridad Alimentaria: Juegatela seguro con los huevos (FCS8635-Span)), one of a series of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date February 2000. Revised August 2006, May 2010, June 2013, and February 2018. Visit the EDIS website at


Originally written by Jennifer Hillan, MSH, RD, LD/N, former ENAFS nutrition educator; revised by Linda B. Bobroff, RD, LD/N, professor, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.