Keep eggs fresh and protected with these simple steps.
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What Is the Best Way To Store Eggs in the Refrigerator?

For many of us, it's second nature to store our eggs in the plastic holder that comes in the refrigerator doors. Why else would they add that nifty little feature?

However, storing your eggs in the refrigerator door is far from the best way to keep them fresh despite how convenient they fit.

It turns out that leaving your eggs in their store-bought container and keeping them on the middle shelf of your fridge is the best place for eggs to be.

So if you, like many others, have been storing your eggs all wrong, learning these five tips can help you fix your egg storage errors and improve your food safety IQ.

Dozen eggs in carton
Photo: Turnervisual/Getty Images

1. Don't ditch the store-bought carton.

No matter how much you love those adorable ceramic egg cartons or want to use the plastic egg-holder insert in your fridge, keeping your eggs in the Styrofoam or cardboard container you purchased them in is your best bet. These materials do a better job of cushioning your eggs to prevent breakage. Plus, the "best by" date is clearly marked, too.

2. Keep eggs in a closed carton at all times.

Along with other criteria, for an egg to be USDA-grade, it's required by law that eggshells be sanitized before being packaged and sold. As a result, this process strips the eggshells of their natural protective oils — which makes the shells' thousands of tiny pores more easily permeated by strong odors that could be lurking in your fridge. That's why storing your eggs in their original, closed carton will help protect them from absorbing any strange food scents that could be circulating.

3. Don't store eggs in the door of your refrigerator.

Despite how convenient the refrigerator door seems, eggs are best stored in the main portion of your fridge on the middle shelf, ideally toward the back. The reasoning is that the temperature of your fridge stays the coldest and most consistent in this area, as opposed to your refrigerator door, which is prone to temperature fluctuations from being opened regularly. Also, since eggs should be kept at 45 degrees F or lower, according to EggSafety.com, those fluctuations could pose a food-safety risk.

4. Keep eggs facing upside-down in the carton.

It's common for us to consider the pointed side of the egg as the top and the larger, more rounded side as the bottom. However, the next time you buy a carton of eggs, look at how they're oriented — they should be round side up, pointed side down. That's because there's a naturally occurring air bubble inside each egg's rounded side, which helps keep the yolk more centered inside the egg and, in turn, will help your eggs stay fresh longer.

5. Don't return used eggshells to the carton or reuse cartons.

Since eggshells are so porous, bacteria that form on used eggshells can easily contaminate the rest of your eggs, making them unsafe to eat — so never return used eggs to a carton if you don't plan to discard them immediately. According to the Food Safety and Inspection Service, you should never reuse an old egg carton for that same reason, too.