cracked eggs boiling in pot

Is An Egg That Has Cracked During Boiling Safe For Consumption?

Eggs are a staple food. They are nutritious and can be cooked in so many ways. However, they can also cause food poisoning if handled incorrectly. And Salmonella is not a fun time. It can involve symptoms like fever, stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea lasting for four to seven days. This is why many people don’t eat cookie dough containing raw eggs. But even those who are careful with the storing and handling of eggs can face a common issue. Is an egg still safe if it cracks while boiling?

Can You Eat Eggs That Crack During Boiling?

Cracking often happens when the eggs boiled at a high intensity hit another egg or the pot. Additionally, they can occur when the eggs are cooked too quickly, building up gasses that create cracks to escape. But people may be concerned that the potentially harmful bacteria on the outside of the shells will contaminate the inside of the egg. Fortunately, the boiling temperature kills any kind of unhealthy bacteria, making these eggs perfectly safe for consumption.

Despite being safe, boiled eggs with cracks don’t look too pretty. Here’s how to prevent them: For one, organic eggs tend to (but not always) have harder shells less prone to cracking. Also, add some salt to the water; this will help the whites cook faster, reducing the chance for cracks, and if it does crack the whites won’t seep out. And while you’re at it, make sure you are using the best method for hard-boiling: Place the eggs in a pot with cold water, add salt. Bring the eggs to a boiling temperature, cover the pot, and remove them from heat. Let them rest for 12 to 20 minutes depending on how large the eggs are. When they are done, drain the water and place the eggs in ice-cold water to prevent any further cooking. 

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cracked boiled egg

 More About Egg Safety

While eggs cracked during boiling are safe, eggs cracked beforehand are not. So when you buy eggs, ensure they are clean, uncracked, and within their best before date. Cracks can allow unhealthy bacteria to enter the egg, and this time, this bacteria isn’t killed through boiling at the same time. If an egg breaks on the way home from the grocery store, crack them into a clean container and cook it within forty-eight hours. [1]

Additionally, don’t wash your eggs. This can make the shell more porous, which can allow the bacteria in. Store the eggs in the refrigerator and use them within three weeks. Plus, store them on a shelf instead of the fridge door since the frequent opening and closing of the fridge can fluctuate the temperature.

If you are sensitive or wary of food poisoning, avoid homemade foods with raw eggs. Keep in mind, commercial versions of these tend to be safer since they use pasteurized eggs or eggs that have been heat treated. These foods include homemade ice cream, mayonnaise, aioli, hollandaise sauces, mousses, custards, and uncooked cake or cookie batter. Fortunately, there are many recipes for these foods that don’t include raw eggs. [2]

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Here are some more egg safety guidelines:

  • Consume hard-boiled eggs within one week after cooking.
  • Don’t free eggs in their shells. If you want to freeze eggs, mix the raw yolks and whites together and freeze in a container. Alternatively, you can freeze whites on their own.
  • Keep leftover egg dishes in the fridge and eat within three to four days.
  • Don’t leave egg dishes out of the fridge for over two hours. Bacteria can grow quickly at warm temperatures.
  • When packing cooked eggs for picnics or lunches, store them with ice or frozen gel packs to keep the food cold until it’s eaten. [3]

If you’re curious and want to read more about eggs, check these out:

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Sources

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  1. “Easter Eggs 101.” Food Network.
  2. “Food safety and eggs.” Better Health. Victoria State Govenment.
  3. “What You Need to Know About Egg Safety.FDA. March 17, 2021
Sarah Biren
Freelance Writer
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender.
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