How Long Do Eggs Last?

Eggs are a very popular food. Packed with protein and fiber, this superfood is known and eaten all over the world. Its versatility makes it more appreciated; there are more than enough cuisines we can make from eggs; from boiled eggs to poached eggs, scrambled eggs, egg rolls, and many more. Not to also mention that egg is a key ingredient in a lot of pastries, baked goods, and recipes. 

Americans consider eggs to be easily perishable foods. This implies they must be stored in the refrigerator to avoid spoilage. When properly preserved, eggs can endure a remarkable amount of time. Throwing eggs out as soon as they reach their expiration date may be a waste of money. 

This article will teach you everything you need to know about the shelf life of eggs

There are certain things we need to address before getting to the matter of eggs and how long they last. 

In certain countries like the United States, Japan, Australia, Netherlands, and Sweden, eggs must be refrigerated. This is because the eggs from these nations are washed and sterilized, shortly after they are picked, in an attempt to prevent Salmonella contamination, a bacteria that is frequently responsible for food poisoning from chicken products. 

However, the downside of this is that cleaning an egg may harm its naturally protective cuticle in addition to eradicating microorganisms. Bacteria may be able to migrate more easily through the shell and taint the egg as a result.

What causes an egg to decay is the presence of bacteria in it, that is to say, if an egg, no matter how long it stays, doesn’t get infected by bacteria, it will last longer. Although it isn’t possible to prevent an egg from eventually becoming infested, the process can be slowed down by the proper storage method. Storing an egg in the refrigerator (below 40°F/4°C) reduces the growth of bacteria and helps to keep it from getting through the shell and entering into the egg. 

Refrigeration is so reliable when it comes to suppressing bacteria development, and, when combined with an egg’s protective shell and natural enzymes, refrigerated eggs seldom go bad — as long as they aren’t tampered with and damaged. 

This doesn’t mean that the egg will remain intact, the quality of the eggs will still degrade over time, the egg’s air pocket will still expand, making the yolk and whites thinner and less bounce, in fact, they may simply dry up at some point instead of spoiling. 

However, fact remains that eggs might still be suitable for consumption even after a long time. Regardless, eggs do not last indefinitely, and there will come a time when you will wish to discard them.

So how long do eggs last? 

If the eggs aren’t damaged and cracked during transporting, storage and packaging, they can be refrigerated for many weeks and even spend months in the freezer. 

All eggs must be kept below 45°F (7°C) from the time when they are washed and cleaned in the factory till when they are sold off, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It’s just as vital that the eggs continue to be handled and stored properly even after they’ve been bought. That is to say, eggs should be refrigerated immediately after they’re bought to avoid their spoilage, which can occur through the spread of bacteria from the shell. 

Eggs should not be removed from the original carton they came with, they should be kept in the refrigerator with it. This will keep them from absorbing any moisture or odor that is trapped in the fridge and protect their temperature from any inconsistency caused while opening and closing the refrigerator door. For those that live in these countries where eggs must be refrigerated, your eggs mustn’t stay on the counter for more than 2 hours. 

However, for those that live in countries where eggs aren’t washed, packaged, or refrigerated as they come directly from the poultry, you can keep your eggs on the counter for up to 3 weeks if you want. The only thing is, their quality will begin to depreciate after a week. If they’re kept for longer than 3 weeks on the counter, their protective layers and enzymes will start to lose their ability, allowing bacterial germination to take place. You can proceed to take your eggs to the fridge at this point (before the eggs spoil of course), however, they won’t last as long as those that have been in the fridge since day one. 

Having explained this important aspect, let us go straight to the lifespan of eggs. In no particular order, the following category contains the estimated lifespan for eggs according to their particular condition. 

Whole eggs (eggs in their shells) from countries like the USA and Japan will last 2 hours at room temperature and 4-5 weeks in the fridge. While eggs from other counties can last 1-3 weeks on the counter, and 1-2 weeks in the fridge. We do not have any criteria for freezing whole eggs.

Raw egg yolks will last 2 hours at room temperature, 2-4 days in the fridge and up to a year in the freezer, the same goes for raw egg whites.

How do you know when eggs go bad?

The most common way is by checking their best before date, if your eggs are way past their best before dates, it may signify that they have gone bad. However, this is not the surest way to tell, because eggs can be good for a very long time, even after their supposed expiration date. You should note that this will be the case only if you store your eggs well.  

In this case, another way you can check your egg is by sniffing it. There are other methods like the float tests, however, these tests are not so reliable. 

Examine the shell for any cracks or a powdery or slimy look, if that’s the case, throw the egg away.

Before usage, crack the egg open on a clean white dish, if everything appears good and there isn’t any discoloration or a strange odor then your egg is fine.

An egg that has gone bad has an obvious odor to it. If everything appears to be in order and the egg has no odor, it is safe to use. 

It is important to note that sometimes, contaminated eggs have no foul smell or discoloration. They may look and smell fine, but they can make you sick. As a result, boil eggs until they reach a safe internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) to eliminate any germs that may be present.

Having explained the necessary things, we’ll take a quick overview of other topics. 

How long do eggs last at room temperature?

Eggs from countries like America and Australia are washed, packaged, and refrigerated immediately, and they will last 2 hours at room temperature. 

While those from other countries will last 3 weeks at room temperature because their protective enzymes haven’t been washed off or tampered with. 

Raw egg yokes will last less than 2 hours at room temperature, and the same goes for raw egg whites.

How long do eggs last in the fridge?

Whole eggs can last for 4-5 weeks in the fridge, while those that have stayed at room temperature for up to three weeks will last for 1-2 weeks.

Raw egg yokes and egg whites will last for about 2-4 days in the fridge.

Can you freeze eggs?

You should not freeze whole eggs, instead, crack the eggs into containers and freeze them for as long as a year or even more. Just make sure the temperature is below 0° F. 

How long does it take to freeze eggs?

Freezing eggs should only take you a couple of hours, however, examine them thoroughly and continue to them freeze for up to a day if they’ve not frozen properly.

Best way to store eggs?

The best way to store eggs depends on where they are coming from. If the eggs are bought from the refrigerator, it means they’ve been washed, hence the best way to store them will be to continue refrigerating them. However, eggs that are bought from the counter can last for about 1-3 weeks at room temperature, afterwards, they can be kept in the fridge for an additional 1 or 2 weeks. 

Simon
Simon

Writer at Foodexpired.com, love experiments and verifying facts.