Why You Should Never Put Eggshells Back in the Carton

Whenever you’re cooking or baking with eggs, good food safety practices are of the utmost importance. Sometimes, though, laziness wins. At one point or another, most of us have set a spent eggshell back in the carton rather than finding a more appropriate receptacle. Even if you’ve never sent anybody to the hospital with this move, it’s still a bad habit that you should break immediately. When you put empty shells back in the carton, you’re introducing a potential source of bacteria — raw egg residue — into the place where you store your eggs. If you think that any remaining eggs are safe just because their shells are intact, think again. Eggshells aren’t Fort Knox. Salmonella can penetrate them, which makes cross-contamination a serious possibility. Even if you just set the shells in the carton for a minute while you finish cracking the rest, they’re bound to leave behind some residue, which could be enough to colonize the whole carton. Refrigeration doesn’t kill bacteria either — it just slows it down. The best thing to do is collect your eggshells in a bowl as you go and dispose of them right away. It does require that you to remember to pull a bowl out before you start cracking, but that sure beats food poisoning.