When it comes to a relaxing Saturday morning, nothing says, “It’s the weekend,” quite like a big breakfast with eggs.
Eggs are one of the most popular food products because of their versatility and incredible health benefits.
Eggs are not just a great addition to most meals, but they are also often required in baking.
Always having eggs on hand seems like the best approach, but it makes us wonder whether eggs go bad.
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Do Eggs Go Bad?
Yes, eggs can go bad, and if you consume eggs that have gone past their best, you risk exposing yourself to several food-borne illnesses.
But, unfortunately, people throw thousands of good eggs away every year because they just don’t know whether the eggs are still suitable for consumption.
This is a pity because it is always saddening when good food goes to waste.
Therefore, we must know that eggs can go bad and check whether our eggs are still good for consumption.
By knowing these elements, you will avoid getting sick from bad eggs and wasting your good eggs.
How Long Do Eggs Last?
As a general rule, fresh eggs can last for up to 66 days from the day they were placed in their cartons.
That is usually quite a few days past the best by date printed on the cartons. It is recommended that you store your eggs in the refrigerator so that they keep their quality for as long as possible.
If you purchase fresh whole eggs, you have more than two months of use if you keep them appropriately stored in the fridge.
However, if you are vegan and prefer to purchase egg substitute products, it is recommended that you use them within four days.
If you have cracked your eggs and want to store them or buy your egg whites and yolks separately, you have much less time to enjoy them than with whole eggs.
It is recommended that you use your egg whites within four days and your yolks within two days.
How Long Do Eggs Last in the Refrigerator?
|Fresh, whole eggs||66 days|
|Egg substitute products||4 days|
|Egg whites||4 days|
|Egg yolks||2 days|
4 Tips to Tell if Eggs Have Gone Bad
Knowing how to tell if your eggs have gone bad is a remarkable ability to have because, although you don’t want to waste good eggs, you also don’t want to expose yourself and your loved ones to eggs that have gone past their best.
If you find a rotten egg, it is important that you clean any surface areas and utensils that it came into contact with. Here are a few tips that will help you tell if your eggs have gone past the best date for consumption:
Check the pack date.
Since eggs can go for much longer than the expiration date printed on their carton, it is better to check the pack date. The pack date of eggs is when the eggs were collected, washed, and packed for distribution.
Therefore, the 66 days freshness guideline should be applied to the packaging date, not the expiry date.
However, the pack date can be confusing because it isn’t printed in a regular date format; but instead, it is printed in a Julian date format.
This means that its chronological number in the year represents the pack date, so that January 1st would be 001, and December 31st would be 365.
So, for example, if you bought a carton of eggs and the pack date is 95, you can either count out the days or use a website to establish the exact packaging date, in this case being April 5th.
Smell your eggs.
Fresh eggs don’t have an unpleasant odor, but eggs that have gone bad, carry a distinctive foul smell when they are raw and cooked. Therefore, if you aren’t sure whether your eggs are still suitable for consumption, give them a sniff after cracking them open.
Examine the eggshell and egg.
An egg that has been exposed to bacteria will show it on the shell and in the yolk.
If you see that an eggshell has become slimy, discolored, or cracked, it is best to avoid having the egg because it could have bacteria that can be harmful.
In addition, if you have cracked your egg and the yolk in the egg has become black or green, it is best not to eat it. If your egg yolk shows any signs of organic growth or mold spots, you should not eat it.
Do a float test.
Fresh eggs sink to the bottom of the glass, while eggs that are no longer fresh float. So if you aren’t sure if your eggs are still fresh or not, pour a tall glass of water and test them.
2 Tips to Store Eggs
Storing eggs is a straightforward process. The best environment for your eggs in the refrigerator since your fridge’s coolness enables the eggs to keep their quality for longer.
Storing your eggs in the pantry isn’t advised, especially if you live in an area with humid and hot temperatures. It is also not recommended to freeze your eggs. Here are two tips that will help you keep your eggs fresh for as long as possible:
Keep your eggs in a safe container in the fridge.
Once your eggs crack or become damaged, there is a risk of bacteria contamination, so it is of vital importance that you store your eggs in a way that they won’t crack or break easily.
Most cartons have been well-designed to keep eggs safe, but if you prefer not to store your eggs in their original carton, find a container that will keep them safe.
Most fridges come with an egg tray that is great for storing eggs because the tray holds the eggs perfectly in place without touching each other.
If you don’t want to use the egg carton and your fridge doesn’t have an egg tray, you need to use a container to prevent them from getting squashed by other food in your fridge.
Avoid keeping them on top of each other.
If you are not using the original carton or an egg tray for storing, you might be tempted to pack them on top of each other in a plastic container.
However, this isn’t an ideal plan because if one of the eggs becomes contaminated by bacteria, it will quickly spread to all the eggs that it has come into contact with.
In addition, this might result in you losing all your eggs. Instead, keep them stored, with each egg having a small open area around it. If the egg cracks and leaks, it won’t affect the quality of the other eggs.
The Risk of Consuming Expired Eggs
Unfortunately, consuming an egg that has gone bad could carry significant health risks. These risks include contracting E-Coli strains of bacteria or Salmonella.
If you get Salmonella from eggs, you will experience severe abdominal cramping, diarrhea, vomiting, gastric discomfort, chills, a headache, and in some cases, bloody stool.
Therefore, it is essential to see your doctor if you feel uncomfortable or sick after consuming eggs.
If you handle an egg only to find that it has gone bad, be sure to throw the egg out and wash the container that it was in with soap before using it again.
An egg that has become contaminated with bacteria can make you very ill even just by using the same bowl that it was in before.
In addition, if any of your eggs show signs of contamination, remove it immediately and make sure that it hasn’t come into contact with any of your other eggs.
If your contaminated egg cracked and leaked, it is best to throw away any eggs that came into contact with the contaminated egg’s contents.
Can You Freeze Eggs?
Although you can freeze eggs for up to a year, it isn’t recommended.
Eggs are a liquid, and the freezing process makes them expand, making it a common occurrence that their shells crack. This means the egg’s quality decreases immediately.
Even if the freezer’s icy temperatures keep bacterial contamination at bay, your eggs won’t have a decent quality once they have thawed.
Some people are not bothered by this, and they prefer to keep their eggs frozen to prolong their shelf life.
In fact, it is common for people who live in remote areas to freeze their eggs, and although their eggs aren’t bad, they just lack that fresh egg quality that we all love.
If you like freezing your eggs, be sure to use them immediately after they have been thawed. It isn’t safe to freeze, thaw and refreeze eggs.
Eggs are one of the best food products around. They are affordable, healthy, and easy to prepare.
If you know how to store your eggs correctly and how to tell if they are still good, you will be able to enjoy your eggs for much longer without having to worry about any health risks associated with consuming eggs that have gone bad.