To avoid the possibility of foodborne illness, fresh eggs must be handled carefully. Even eggs with clean, uncracked shells may occasionally contain bacteria called Salmonella that can cause an intestinal infection.

The most effective way to prevent egg-related illness is by knowing how to buy, store, handle and cook eggs, or foods that contain them, safely.

The FDA requires all cartons of shell eggs that have not been treated to destroy Salmonella must carry the following safe handling statement: “Safe Handling Instructions: To prevent illness from bacteria: keep eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks are firm, and cook foods containing eggs thoroughly.” This Safe Handling Statement must appear on all cartons of untreated shell eggs by September 2001.

The FDA also requires that, by June 2001, untreated shell eggs sold at stores, roadside stands, etc., must be stored and displayed under refrigeration at 45 degrees F (7 degrees C).