FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: How do you read the date on an egg carton?
A: Egg carton dates vary from state to state and account to account. Some cartons are dated with a Julian date and a sell by date. A Julian date is a three digit number representing the calendar date the eggs were packed. A sell by date is 45 days from the day the eggs were packed.
Q: What causes blood spots?
A: A small spot of blood (sometimes called "meat spots") is occasionally found in an egg yolk. But contrary to rumor, these spots do not indicate a fertilized egg. The spots are caused by a rupture of a blood vessel on the yolk surface during the egg formation. Most eggs with blood spots are removed during grading, but some escape detection.
As an egg ages, water moves from the albumen to the yolk, diluting the blood spot; so a visable blood spot actually indicates a fresh egg. Although the spots may be unsightly, these eggs are suitable for consumption. The spot can be removed with the tip of a knife, if you wish.
Q: Why do some hard-cooked eggs have a greenish ring around the yolk?
A: The harmless greenish ring is due to an iron and sulphur compound which forms when eggs are overcooked or not cooked quickly.
Q: Is there a difference between white and brown shelled eggs?
A: No. Shell color is determined by the breed of hen and is not related to quality, nutrients, flavor or cooking characteristics. Since brown egg layers are slightly larger birds and require more food, brown eggs are usually more expensive than white.
Q: How long will eggs keep?
A: Fresh eggs can be kept refrigerated in their carton for at least 4-5 weeks beyond the packaging date. Quality loss should be insignificant if the eggs are refrigerated as soon as possible after purchase from a refrigerated case.
Hard-cooked eggs should be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Q: What is the best way to store eggs?
A: Store eggs in their carton because eggs can absorb refrigerator odors.
Q: Is it safe to eat raw eggs?
A: The risk of food poisoning from eggs is highest with raw and lightly cooked dishes. It's best not to serve raw or lightly cooked dishes made with eggs.
Q: What are the stringy white pieces in egg whites?
A: These are rope-like strands of egg whites called "chalazae". These are not imperfections on beginning embryos, but a natural, edible part of the egg. Chalazaes keep the yolk centered in the thick egg white.
Q. Are eggs an economical food?
A: Yes. Eggs are one of today's best food buys. Eggs supply high-quality protein and a variety of important vitamins and minerals at a very low price.
Q. Why are some hard-cooked eggs difficult to peel?
A: Fresh eggs may be difficult to peel. Those stored for a week to 10 days before cooking will be easier to peel.
Q: Why is an egg white cloudy, or has a yellow or greenish cast?
A: A cloudiness of raw white is due to the presence of carbon dioxide that has not had time to escape through the shell, which indicates a very fresh egg. A slight yellow or greenish cast in raw white might indicate the presence of riboflavin, whch does not affect the egg's edibility.