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Released: April 01, 2004

Holiday Tip: Simplify “Blown” Eggs

MANHATTAN, Kan. – When handled with care, decorated egg shells can be re-used for several holiday seasons, said Karen Blakeslee, K-State Research and Extension rapid response center coordinator.

While such egg shells are often described as “blown” eggs, from a food safety perspective, blowing into an egg isn’t a good idea. Doing so could result in foodborne illness, said Blakeslee, who offered these tips:

1. Wash egg in warm water and pat dry with a paper towel.

2. Sterilize a sewing needle with hot soapy water or a water-and-bleach solution.

3. Use the sterilized needle to poke a hole in the narrow end of the egg.

4. Sterilize a larger needle (such as a yarn needle) or an ice pick and poke a larger hole in

the wide end of the egg, making sure that both the shell membranes and yolk are broken.

5. Hold the egg over a bowl or food storage container. Press the bulb of a turkey baster

against the small end of the egg to push air into the egg and contents out the other end.

6. Rinse empty shells with cold water and allow them to dry before decorating.

Use the contents from the eggs immediately in a recipe that will be fully cooked, such as a casserole, egg custard or baked item. To save the eggs for later use, beat until blended and pour into freezer containers; label and date. Thaw in the refrigerator and use promptly.

For more information on food safety, contact the local K-State Research and Extension office or visit these Extension Web sites: or . Guidelines for freezing eggs can be found at: .


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by:
Nancy Peterson
K-State Research& Extension News

Additional Information:
Karen Blakeslee is at 785-532-1673 or