Fresh eggs are inexpensive, natural, and highly nutritious food. There are so many ways to cook eggs, even for those of us who don’t have culinary skills, adding an egg to our favorite dish is a great way to get the protein the body needs.
But how long do fresh eggs last before spoiling? If you are a person who lives alone, a box of eggs may stay in your refrigerator for a long time. Unfortunately, the packaged eggs we buy from the grocery store don’t last as long as other packaged foods.
How long can fresh eggs stay without refrigeration?
Before considering how long fresh eggs will keep out of the refrigerator, you will need to decide whether or not you want to wash them. Some people prefer to give them a quick clean after picking them up from the chicken coop, while others decide to wash them just before cooking. If you decide not to wash your eggs, make sure your laying hens sit on fresh straw.
There is a lot of discussion around the cleaning of the eggs, in our case we prefer not to wash them after collecting them, because it can affect the shelf life of fresh eggs. Chickens lay their eggs with a thin membrane on the outside, which protects the porous shell from bacteria. When you wash your egg in water, you remove this layer, known as the egg flower, which means there is one less layer of protection.
If you need to clean the collected eggs from your chicken coop, you can wipe them with a dab cloth to preserve flowering. With that layer intact, you can store the egg at room temperature. If you wash the flower, it is safest to put the eggs in the refrigerator.
Here are the things you might want to keep in mind when it comes to washing and making your eggs last:
If you don’t want to refrigerate the eggs, you shouldn’t wash them. Eggs purchased in supermarkets must be refrigerated because they no longer have the flower. The cold protects the egg from bacteria that could be harmful.
Do you want to eat the egg when it is in its freshest state? You may want to put down the flower and eat it within a week of harvesting.
According to the US Food Safety page, you can keep eggs fresh in the shell in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 weeks.
Recommendations on egg refrigeration
If you routinely keep your eggs in the refrigerator for that long, here are some things to keep in mind when refrigerating them:
Eggs should be kept in a cardboard box or airtight container. This added protection will not only keep your eggs intact. It will also protect them from smelling or tasting like other foods in the refrigerator.
If you don’t plan on using a sealable container to store your eggs, keep them as far away from unpleasant-smelling foods as possible.
The recommended temperature for keeping eggs fresh is 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius).
Once the eggs are kept in the refrigerator, they should stay there until you are safe to use them. Once the egg is brought back to room temperature, it may accumulate moisture and facilitate the entry of bacteria.
Eggs previously refrigerated should not be left out for more than 2 hours.
Don’t put the eggs in the refrigerator door. As we mentioned earlier, the eggs should be 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of the refrigerator door changes constantly when you open and close it. As much as possible, you will want to keep your eggs where the temperature is constant.
Why is it important to keep eggs refrigerated?
Eggs should be kept refrigerated to reduce the risk of salmonella. Fresh and flowering eggs do not need to be kept refrigerated, as long as they are consumed in a week or less. However, eggs from the grocery store should not be left unrefrigerated because their cuticles have been practically washed (Egg flower). This increases the risk of salmonella.
How do you know if an egg is still fresh?
Take the float test! Just fill a bowl with water and place your eggs in it. Next, we will show step by step how to test the freshness of an egg. The older the egg, the more time it has for air to filter through the pores. If you are not sure how old your eggs are, take this test.
Fresh eggs will sink horizontally. An egg that cannot be eaten will float.
How to perform the floating test
- You don’t need a big kit, if that’s what you think, your kitchen essentials are all you need.
- Fill a clear container with cold water and place your eggs in it.
- If they sink to the bottom and lie on their side, they are fresh and can be made into delicious food.
- If they wobble at one end at the bottom of the bowl (upright) it means they are a few weeks old but still good to eat.
- But if you find the eggs floating on the surface of the bowl, rest assured that they are no longer fresh enough to eat.
Why is the floating test the best method?
The reason this method is the most effective is that eggshells are porous, which means they allow some air to pass through. This means that the newly laid eggs will have less air, so they will sink to the bottom. But older eggs, which have had more time for the air to penetrate the shells, become more buoyant (lighter) and float to the surface.
So what can you do about eggs that don’t pass the floating test?
- Use the dried and crushed eggshells to fertilize the plants, as they are mainly made up of minerals like calcium and magnesium.
- Eggs can be great conditioning and smoothing mask for your hair. Apply and leave for 20 minutes and wash.
- Eggs can be used to clean leather.
- If you want to know more things you can do with eggs, we invite you to read the following publication: 10 fantastic ways to reuse eggshells
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