How long can eggs stored in the fridge?

  • Thread starter pixel01
  • Start date
  • Tags
    fridge
In summary: Yes, they would be good. The USDA website I linked to says that "uncooked eggs that have been stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator (below 40 degrees F) for no more than four weeks are safe to eat." So if you cooked them immediately after boiling, they would probably be within the four week window.
  • #1
pixel01
688
1
How long can eggs be stored in the fridge?

Normally, I store eggs in my fridge for about less than 2 weeks. So how long at max eggs can be stored that still be eatenable?
 
Last edited:
Biology news on Phys.org
  • #2
pixel01 said:
Normally, I store eggs in my fridge for about less than 2 weeks. So how long at max eggs can be stored that still be eatenable?

They should have an expiration date on the carton. I've used eggs after that, but there's no guarantee.
 
  • #3
Eggs actually keep for a pretty long time and the rotten eggs odor can be smelled through the shell if they do go bad. This is one of the factors that has promoted the cultivation of chickens in human history; chicken eggs as a commodity can be transported a long distance without refrigeration and still be edible, much further than something like raw meat.

If you keep them beyond the sell-by date definitely be sure to cook them thoroughly though, no runny yolks, because besides spoilage salmonella is a concern too. (And actually, because of salmonella, the usual advice is to cook them thoroughly even before the expiration date too.)

But don't take my word for it, because I'm not a Food Safety Inspector or anything. Refer to the http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Focus_On_Shell_Eggs/index.asp" on this. Check out the section called “Dating of Cartons.”
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #4
Thank you both.
So eggs can be stored in refregerators 3 to 5 weeks.
 
  • #5
UP until recently, the USDA allowed eggs to be stored as much as 6 weeks before being shipped to retailers. Under Clinton, the rules were changed, partially in response to the salmonella problems at the time in retail whole eggs.
 
  • #7
When I went to France I was amazed that eggs were being stored un-refrigerated. These were eggs that they gathered from their own hens. It seems that there is a natural protective coating on eggs that is removed when commercial producers wash the eggs prior to packaging which reduces their shelf life. Of course I don't recommend this <disclaimer>, but it is true. Unwashed eggs picked out of a nest can remain un-refrigerated for several weeks.
 
  • #8
Evo said:
When I went to France I was amazed that eggs were being stored un-refrigerated. These were eggs that they gathered from their own hens. It seems that there is a natural protective coating on eggs that is removed when commercial producers wash the eggs prior to packaging which reduces their shelf life. Of course I don't recommend this <disclaimer>, but it is true. Unwashed eggs picked out of a nest can remain un-refrigerated for several weeks.

They were storing them that long? If they had their own hens, you'd think they'd be using the fresh eggs daily rather than storing them a long time.

I found this source, that seems to corroborate what you said about the processing/washing of eggs removing the protective coating (but a layer of oil is put on to replace it). It also suggests eggs can be stored quite a bit longer than the sell-by date (I routinely do this, but wasn't going to suggest it in case I'm just immune to salmonella or something).
http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/news/ng.asp?id=52556-proper-storage-extends

The article also confirms the other thing I thought I remembered, but wasn't completely sure was accurate, that any bacterial contamination is primarily coming from the shell. That's the reason for the washing. It seems an unwashed egg would be less safe if stored a longer time (not in the article, but just trying to reason from that) since the bacteria on the outside would continue to grow and could contaminate whatever you're cooking when you cracked the egg open. Afterall, eggs don't exactly exit through the cleanest part of a chicken. :wink:
 
Last edited:
  • #9
  • #10
The USDA “All about eggs” page I linked to above talks about salmonella somewhat.

Supposedly Alfred Hitchcock had some sort of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Hitchcock#Phobias". He thought that blood spilling all over the place was just fine but a broken yolk running out was frightening and revolting. :-p
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #11
Okay, here's a question I ran up against recently. If you hard boil eggs just prior to the "best before" date, having stored them in the fridge the whole time prior to that date, and continuing to refrigerate them after hard boiling them, would they still be good? And, if so, for about how long, does anyone figure?
 
  • #12
GeorginaS said:
Okay, here's a question I ran up against recently. If you hard boil eggs just prior to the "best before" date, having stored them in the fridge the whole time prior to that date, and continuing to refrigerate them after hard boiling them, would they still be good? And, if so, for about how long, does anyone figure?
Well for me, about a year. :rolleyes: I'm of the school of thought "if it didn't kill me, it was ok".

Seriously, damn, I ran across this looking up raw eggs and now I will have to find it again.
 
  • #13
GeorginaS: What we've been saying and the USDA says this too, is that eggs will usually last much longer than the “best before” date on them.

That USDA page says that hard-boiled eggs actually spoil more quickly than uncooked eggs, that you should wait no more than a week after cooking to use them. It actually cites the same kind of thing Evo mentioned, that during boiling a natural protective coating is removed that makes the shell more porous.

Hmm, so I wonder if the phenomenon Evo mentions of fresh vs. processed eggs is actually caused by pasteurization as a precaution against salmonella? Pasteurization takes things up to a pretty high temperature, though not boiling.
 
  • #14
We've got chickens of our own. Generally it is best to not wash them, and if you must, do it with water about 10 degrees warmer because that way the egg will expand and push dirt out, if you do it with cooler water, it will suck stuff in. Eggs do last quite a while unrefridged. I have noticed that when they go bad if you lightly shake the egg you will feel the yolk moving, where as if they're fresh you won't feel that.

Evo: are you sure they weren't fertilized eggs? That'd explain them keeping, as they would be a living cell.
 
  • #15
CaptainQuasar said:
GeorginaS: What we've been saying and the USDA says this too, is that eggs will usually last much longer than the “best before” date on them.

That USDA page says that hard-boiled eggs actually spoil more quickly than uncooked eggs, that you should wait no more than a week after cooking to use them. It actually cites the same kind of thing Evo mentioned, that during boiling a natural protective coating is removed that makes the shell more porous.


Thanks, CaptainQuasar. Sorry, I didn't read far enough down on the USDA page link that you provided to see that information about hard boiling eggs.

The reason why I specified "before before" date, is because you folks are in the US (it appears) and there are different labelling/packaging standards used there. You have "sell dates" and "EXP dates" and whatnot. I'm in Canada and we have one dating stamp, the "best before" date and that's it. It's sort of murky just what, precisely, that's supposed to mean.

Anyway, thank you! Out that lovely package of hard boiled eggs goes, then.
 
  • #16
Yeah, I don't keep hard boiled eggs more than a week either, regardless of what any site says...actually, I don't keep them more than 5 days...I can SMELL the difference. If they smell strongly eggy (that would be the egg version of fishy I guess), I toss them (I apply the same rule to foods made with hard-boiled eggs, like potato salad).

I hate "best before" dates. "Sell by" I understand...that's how long it gets to be on the store shelf, and it's useable for some reasonable time after that. "Expires" dates I understand...don't use it after that date if you aren't a fan of hugging toilet bowls. But, "Best Before" is an odd term...yep, it's BEST before that date, but that implies it's still okay after that date, but rather ambiguous as to just how long before it's spoiled, which is what we all really want to know.
 
  • #17
GeorginaS said:
Thanks, CaptainQuasar. Sorry, I didn't read far enough down on the USDA page link that you provided to see that information about hard boiling eggs.

The reason why I specified "before before" date, is because you folks are in the US (it appears) and there are different labelling/packaging standards used there. You have "sell dates" and "EXP dates" and whatnot. I'm in Canada and we have one dating stamp, the "best before" date and that's it. It's sort of murky just what, precisely, that's supposed to mean.

Anyway, thank you! Out that lovely package of hard boiled eggs goes, then.

No disrespect meant to your Canadianness! Some of my best friends are Canadian. :biggrin: I just wanted to make sure that in giving any health-related advice, particularly about eating potentially-spoiled food, I'm directly citing scientific authority.
 
  • #18
CaptainQuasar said:
GeorginaS: What we've been saying and the USDA says this too, is that eggs will usually last much longer than the “best before” date on them.

That USDA page says that hard-boiled eggs actually spoil more quickly than uncooked eggs, that you should wait no more than a week after cooking to use them. It actually cites the same kind of thing Evo mentioned, that during boiling a natural protective coating is removed that makes the shell more porous.

Hmm, so I wonder if the phenomenon Evo mentions of fresh vs. processed eggs is actually caused by pasteurization as a precaution against salmonella? Pasteurization takes things up to a pretty high temperature, though not boiling.
Good deal CQ! Yes, that was the information on hard boiled eggs.:approve:
 
  • #19
Evo said:
I also read that rarely salmonella can be present inside an egg. I remember that it was a reputable source, I'll have to see if I can find it. That stuck in my mind because I didn't think it was possible.

I have heard this from multiple professors so I assume it's true. The bacteria is somehow passed from the hen's digestive tract to the embryo.
 
  • #20
From what I've always heard, salmonella is only a problem when the egg is cracked and exposed to air for a period of time. Thats why you can eat fresh cookie dough just fine, but its not a good idea to do so if the dough has been sitting out for a day.
 
  • #21
As discussed above, and to quote a http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Salmonella_Questions_&_Answers/index.asp#6" :

USDA Foodborne Illness & Disease - Salmonella Questions and Answers said:
Any raw food of animal origin, such as meat, poultry, milk and dairy products, eggs, seafood, and some fruits and vegetables may carry Salmonella bacteria. The bacteria can survive to cause illness if meat, poultry, and egg products are not cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature as measured with a food thermometer and fruits and vegetables are not thoroughly washed.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #22
egg shelf life

binzing said:
We've got chickens of our own. Generally it is best to not wash them, and if you must, do it with water about 10 degrees warmer because that way the egg will expand and push dirt out, if you do it with cooler water, it will suck stuff in. Eggs do last quite a while unrefridged. I have noticed that when they go bad if you lightly shake the egg you will feel the yolk moving, where as if they're fresh you won't feel that.

Evo: are you sure they weren't fertilized eggs? That'd explain them keeping, as they would be a living cell.

I don't think a fertilized egg would make a difference? If it was taken before incubation it would have the same shelf life of an un feretilized egg.

When I was in south east asia, they have Balut (local delicacy) a duck or chicken egg is taken about 17-20 days thru incubation then boiled. served warm they only keep for one day, if refrigerated maybe one week.
 
  • #23
To be honest, I don't know the answer to the question "how long", but I agree that different cultures having different attitudes to the need of refrigeration. As some people have pointed out, France is indeed very different:

http://www.sitebits.com/2006/the_french_fridge.html

But personally, I think this is determined more by the climate you live in.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Related to How long can eggs stored in the fridge?

1. How long can eggs be stored in the fridge?

Eggs can typically be stored in the fridge for up to 4-5 weeks from the packing date. However, it is recommended to use them within 3 weeks for best quality and flavor.

2. Can eggs be stored in the fridge for longer than 5 weeks?

It is not recommended to store eggs in the fridge for longer than 5 weeks, as the quality and flavor may deteriorate over time. It is best to use them within 3 weeks for optimal freshness.

3. Should eggs be stored in the fridge or at room temperature?

Eggs should always be stored in the fridge, as this helps to keep them fresh and prevents the growth of bacteria. Room temperature storage can increase the risk of foodborne illness.

4. How can I tell if eggs have gone bad?

You can tell if eggs have gone bad by conducting a simple float test. Place the egg in a bowl of water - if it sinks to the bottom, it is still fresh. If it floats, it is likely spoiled and should not be consumed.

5. Can I freeze eggs for long-term storage?

Yes, eggs can be frozen for long-term storage. However, it is recommended to remove them from their shells and mix them well before freezing. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 12 months.

Similar threads

Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
40
Views
4K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
1
Views
868
Replies
9
Views
1K
  • Biology and Medical
Replies
2
Views
3K
Replies
5
Views
1K
Replies
12
Views
2K
Replies
6
Views
1K
  • General Discussion
Replies
9
Views
1K
  • Biology and Medical
Replies
1
Views
1K
Back
Top