When you get home late from work, the fridge is empty. There are two apples, a chunk of cheddar and half of white wine. And a carton of eggs you forgot was on the top shelf.
Although a cheesy omelette sounds delicious, are the eggs still edible? It can be not easy to know if eggs are safe to eat. This is especially true if you don’t recall when they were purchased or if the “best before” date was written on the carton. Don’t worry. We’ll show how to determine if eggs are edible, store them properly, and much more.
How long do eggs last?
First, eggs should be fresh. Eggs that aren’t frozen will not taste as good. The best flavour is within the first week. According to the FDA, whole eggs can be kept in their shells for three weeks. It is best to choose organic, heritage or free-range eggs. Happy Egg Co. boasts top-of-the-line free-range farming standards that result in a lighter yolk and better flavour.
How to Cook Everything states that eggs can be kept in the refrigerator for four to five weeks after the carton’s date. (Check before buying and get the latest date carton). You can use eggs in baked goods near the end of this range. This will help you to notice the diminished flavour. You can also cook or bake the eggs thoroughly to eliminate any bad bacteria that might have developed during this process.
Wait! What’s a Pack Date?
We are glad you asked. It is not on the same date as sell or most useful by. The Julian date, also known by the pack number, is a three-digit number that corresponds to a day in the year. It can range from 001 (January 1) to 365 (December 31). For your convenience, here’s a handy chart. It is the date that the eggs were packaged in the carton. This does not mean that there should be any confusion about when they should be eaten.
Are eggs bad if not refrigerated?
It depends on where you live in the world. Example: Yes, in the United States. The United Kingdom is different. Why? The reason is not that eggs are stored in refrigerators but because they are different processes. The cuticle is a thin layer applied to eggs after they are laid.
The U.S. uses warm water and detergent to wash commercial eggs. This is done to remove any contamination and the cuticle. The U.K. has hens that have been vaccinated against salmonella transmission. The cuticle is kept on to protect them. Despite this, refrigerating eggs is a good idea wherever you live. The Food Lover’s Companion states that room-temperature eggs lose more quality than those stored in the refrigerator.
How should I store eggs?
Eggs should be kept in the refrigerator if you are in the United States. You probably have a shelf on your refrigerator that holds an egg carton. But don’t use this shelf.
Here are the reasons: 1) The fridge door is warmer than other parts of the fridge. And the warmer the environment, the eggs’ quality will drop faster. 2) Every time you open the door, it moves. The thinner the egg’s white becomes, the more the door moves. It will also be exposed to warm air every 20 minutes when you open the doors to search for food.
Eggs are also susceptible to other food odours. This is why they should be kept in their original container or transferred to an airtight container. Avoid open-format containers that could allow them to breathe in the cold air. Keep them on the bottom shelf towards the back of your fridge, regardless of whether you keep them in the original container. This will ensure that they are in the coldest part of the fridge, away from other food. If an egg is broken on the bottom rack, it will not cause as much mess as if it was on the top.
How can I tell if eggs are good or bad?
Several signs indicate freshness after you crack open an egg.
- Thin whites that aren’t spread significantly
- According to Joy of Cooking, a mild scent (“an old egg smells like damp grass or straw”)
- A tall, domed yolk
- Notable chalazae are opaque white cords that anchor the yolk.
You can also try the famous “float test” if you don’t feel like cracking open an egg. We now move on to the next question.
Is the Egg Float Test a Myth?
Nope! This is a simple, reliable method that has been used for hundreds of years. Hannah Glasse, an English cookbook author, wrote about it in 1750. The gist is that if an egg sinks, it’s good. If it floats, it’s not. Why?
Harold McGee explains on Food and Cooking that “the egg as a whole loses water through its porous shell,” so the egg’s contents shrink, and the air cell at its wide end expands. “As egg ages and its air cells expand, it becomes progressively less dense.” If an egg can float in water, it is old enough to be thrown away (or recycled). ).
My Egg Has Blood! That’s Bad, Right?
It’s fine. It’s not a sign that the egg is unsafe to eat, nor is it a sign of spoilage. You can rest assured that your egg is fresher the older it gets. However, a blood spot on an egg yolk will become less obvious as it ages. If the blood spot is bothersome, you can remove it using a paring blade or a chopstick. Keep in mind that the yolk may break. This is not a problem if your scrambled egg recipe is being made, but it might be a problem if the fried egg or poached egg are made.
How can I tell if a hardboiled egg is bad?
It’s a great way to save time on meal prep by hard boiling a lot of eggs. They won’t last forever, just like raw eggs. Eggs can be kept in the refrigerator for one week after being hardboiled. Keep eggs in an airtight container so they don’t absorb any other odours. Soft-boiled and medium-boiled eggs are also safe. However, they can be more fragile and susceptible to foodborne bacteria growth, keeping them in an airtight container. ).