How long can eggs sit out; Everything you need to know
It’s very likely that you have had a bad egg experience. I have! Therefore, I made the decision to search for a remedy.
Guess what? From the discovery, it is eminent that it is not entirely my fault.
You can purchase eggs from the mall with an expiration date attached to them. However, after the due date, you may likely discover that the egg is not bad.
What will you do? Do you throw it out because the tag says it is expired?
Keep reading to find out more.
A substantial number of people consider eggs as perishable food in different parts of the world. It is quite obvious that most due dates may actually be incorrect.
Eggs last better under favorable conditions including temperature.
Now the major question is how long can eggs sit out or how long can fresh eggs sit out.
This article contains all you need to know about the proper storage and preservation of eggs.
How long can eggs sit out?
This highly depends on the region, country, or temperature. In countries like the United States of America, eggs cannot stay out of the fridge for longer than 2 hours.
Keeping eggs out of the fridge can lead to damage of the egg. However, in countries like the United Kingdom and Nigeria, eggs can sit out for longer hours or days.
This disparity or variation is largely due to the handling of eggs during the processing state.
For instance, in Canada or the United States of America, freshly laid eggs undergo a cleaning process.
They are thoroughly but carefully washed to prevent the spread of infection from certain harmful bacteria e.g., salmonella.
The process of washing eggs and sanitizing them has a flaw.
After washing, the eggs need to be placed in the fridge to prevent spoilage.
In countries like the United Kingdom, they do not sanitize or wash their eggs. The farmers ensure that they maintain healthy and standard hygiene.
These farmers pay close attention to the sanitation of their chicken and eggs farms. Also, they make sure that their chickens receive adequate vaccination.
Therefore, their eggs are not washed before distribution to stores, malls, and markets.
How healthy are unwashed eggs?
It’s important that you remember that fresh farm farmers maintain a healthy routine.
They ensure that the habitats of the chickens are regularly washed and sanitized, this prevents the infestation of bacteria.
These eggs can sit out for more than 2 weeks without getting bad.
It is important to note that the longer eggs sit out, the more likely they are to lose their protective coverage.
Once the bloom degenerates, the egg is at a high risk of potential contamination.
Why can’t washed eggs sit out?
Washing an egg removes its protective cover. This protective cover (bloom) keeps off bacteria from damaging the eggs.
Eggs get bad when bacteria get into them. Most times this gives off an awful and unpleasant smell.
Does this mean I shouldn’t wash my egg before use?
Of course not! When you take out an egg from the fridge or shelf, this should be because you want to make use of it.
It is safe to wash your eggs for immediate use. This is especially beneficial for eggs that can sit out for a longer period of time.
You need to wash off dust or microscopic particles before using the egg.
If you have washed your egg but an emergency occurs. It is advisable that you put your egg in the fridge to prevent it from going bad.
“FRIDGE NOT FREEZER”
How does an egg go bad?
It is no news that bacteria are responsible for the damage of an egg.
How does this occur?
Eggs have a natural protective cover that shields them from bacteria.
However, too much exposure (sit out for more than 3 weeks) can lead to the degeneration of protective cover.
Bacteria may penetrate into the egg and damage it.
This natural protective cover is also removed after washing the egg.
How to properly store eggs to prevent contamination
The most popular and effective way to store eggs is to keep them in the fridge.
When you put your eggs in the fridge, it prevents or slows down the growth of bacteria.
If you properly storehouse eggs, the risk of contamination by bacteria is extremely low.
From my earlier explanation, eggs tend to lose quality after a while. For this reason, it is better to purchase lesser quantities.
Excessive bulk purchase of eggs is not ideal as eggs can dry out or go bad over time.
To properly store your eggs, ensure that you put them in a refrigerator as this slows down the growth of bacteria.
How long do refrigerated eggs last
According to the food and drugs administration, once you purchase your eggs place them in the refrigerator @7°C.
Refrigerated eggs can last for more than 2 weeks if the handling and storage process is properly carried out.
Tips for storing and handling washed eggs
- Once you purchase eggs from the mall, leave them in the carton it was purchased.
- Regulate the fridge temperature to 45F.
- Place the eggs in a carton before putting them in the fridge.
Eggs have semi-permeable shells. In other to protect the content, it is advisable that you store the egg in a refrigerator with the carton. This prevents the egg from absorbing odors.
- If you want to freeze eggs, ensure that you remove them from their shell.
Place it into a freezer-supportive container then freeze the eggs.
According to Healthline;
“Freeze eggs can last for a year or longer”
Tips for unwashed eggs
If you live within the regions where habitats undergo adequate sanitation. Or where chickens receive vaccinations, here is a guide to follow.
- Store your eggs at room temperature for more than 14 days (2 weeks). You should remember that egg quality declines with time.
- After the 3rd week, eggs will slowly lose their protective covering. At this point, it is advisable to put the eggs in the fridge.
Note: It may not last as long as eggs that have been in the fridge since they were laid.
How long should eggs sit at room temperature?
An unwashed egg can sit out at room temperature for more than 14 days. However, it is not advisable for washed eggs to sit out for more than 2 hours.
They can become contaminated by bacteria after long exposure to room temperature.
How long do farm fresh eggs last?
Don’t get confused by the word “Farm fresh eggs” they are simply eggs that do not undergo washing processes after they are laid.
These eggs can last for more than 2 weeks without placing them in the fridge.
Farm fresh eggs still have their bloom (protective coverage) intact. This helps to prevent contamination by bacteria (salmonella).
Can eggs be left out overnight?
This strongly depends on the kind of eggs. Is it a fresh farm egg or a washed egg?
If the egg is unwashed, then it can be left out overnight. However, if it isn’t, I don’t think that is a good idea.
Ensure that you place all washed eggs in the fridge to prevent contamination.
How to know if your eggs are fresh
Myth or fact! Let’s test our knowledge of eggs. Have you heard about the egg test where you place an egg in water to test their health?
A fresh egg will sink while an old egg will float.
Unbelievable right? This might sound untrue; however, it is actually a fact.
Other than the awful smell that bad eggs bring, you can also check for a fresh egg by using this test. It is popularly believed that this test can be used to test for a bad egg. Further research needs to be carried to ascertain the validity of this claim.
- Fill a bowl with cold water
- Place your eggs into the bowl
- Carefully notice the eggs that sink and throw away those that float.
What happens when you eat an expired egg?
Bad eggs contain salmonella which is responsible for contaminating the eggs.
Therefore, when you eat an expired egg, you are also consuming the bacteria. It could lead to a condition known as salmonella poisoning.
Symptoms include; vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, and stomach irritation.
This could last for a few days or more. I suggest that you seek professional help from your doctor.
Does an expiration date mean the egg is bad?
Most times an expiration date doesn’t exactly mean that your eggs are bad.
The stores are just being extremely cautious to prevent salmonella poisoning.
Use the egg test to check if your eggs are bad.
Farm-fresh eggs can sit out for more than 14days however washed eggs cannot.
To increase the lifespan of your eggs, ensure that you refrigerate them.
Do not eat an expired egg or any egg with a crack this can lead to salmonella poisoning.