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Is Storing Empty Egg Shells in the Carton Safe?

Empty eggshells sit in an egg carton.
Olga Gorchichko/Shutterstock.com

Sometimes, you just can’t make it to the trash when cracking six eggs into a dessert or making breakfast for a crowd of people. You stash those empty shells back in your carton. That’s fine, right?

Unfortunately, putting your empty eggshells back into the carton is a major food safety no-no.

When you place the shell back, you put your remaining eggs at risk for cross-contamination. This happens when bacteria transfers between surfaces in your kitchen. Bacteria—like salmonella—can be found on egg whites as well as eggshells. When you place a shell back into the carton, you can increase the risk of that bacteria spreading further.

Of course, you don’t eat the eggshells that the bacteria might transfer to, but those shells could end up touching the edges of pans, cooking utensils, and most importantly, your hands. By disposing of the eggshells and washing your hands after, you can help reduce the chances of bacteria spreading around your kitchen.

If (like me) you tend to stash your eggshells in your carton, you might want to keep your trash can closer. Hey, you could always wash them and put them in your coffee.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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