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Dietitians Dish: All about eggs

By By Lindsay Adams
April 15, 2014 at midnight
Updated April 14, 2014 at 11:15 p.m.


Second to the Easter bunny, eggs can be considered a mascot for Easter. Whether dying them, hunting them or eating them, there are many questions floating around about eggs.

First of all, have you ever wondered if eggs really need to be used by the sell-by date? Eggs should typically be used within three weeks of the listed sell-by date.

Eggs should be stored in a refrigerator at less than 40 degrees and, of course, be sure to check the carton of eggs before you leave the store to make sure that none of them are cracked.

Truthfully, the designated egg rack in the refrigerator door is not usually the best place to store them because the temperature can be warmer in this location than on interior shelves.

I'm sure you've also noticed the green color that sometimes appears in cooked eggs. This green color is caused by overcooking and occurs because iron and sulfur compounds react on the surface of the yolk. It can also be caused by a large amount of iron in the water that the egg is cooked in. Although it is not very appetizing, it is safe to eat.

Next, how long is too long to keep hard-boiled eggs? When eggs are hard-boiled, the protective coating of the egg is washed away, which makes it much easier for bacteria to cross into the shell and contaminate the egg. Be sure to refrigerate your hard-boiled eggs within two hours of cooking and use within one week.

From firsthand experience, I know that some hard-boiled eggs seem a lot easier to peel than others. Ever wondered why? The fresher the eggs you boil, the more difficult it is to peel. This is because the air cell in eggs, which is located at the larger end of the egg shell between the shell membranes, increases the longer the raw egg is stored.

Over time, the egg's contents contract, and the air cell gets bigger, making it easier to peel after hard boiling; therefore, try using older eggs for hard boiling to ease this process.

Hopefully, this answers some of your questions. Have a Happy Easter.

Lindsay Adams is a registered dietitian with DeTar Health Systems. Send questions or comments to dietitians@vicad.com.

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