Can you eat old eggs?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Can you eat old eggs?” and will discuss the risks associated with eating expired eggs.

Can you eat old eggs?

Yes, you can eat old eggs. Even after their expiry date has passed, eggs that have been stored correctly may be eaten without fear of spoilage. In contrast, eggs that have been tainted or mishandled may deteriorate and become infected with dangerous pathogens.

How long are eggs good for?

Fresh in-shell eggs may be kept in the refrigerator for three to five weeks after washing and storing. Eggs have a longer shelf life than most other perishable proteins. Most milk and meats can only be kept fresh in the refrigerator for a maximum of one week after they’ve been opened.

Still, it might be difficult to tell how long eggs have been on the shelf and how long they’ll last after you get them home from the shop. This is when egg carton date labels come in helpful. 

Date labels help you decide how long your eggs are safe to eat and how long they may be stored in the fridge. Even though an egg is labeled with an expiry date, it may not have any at all, depending on where it came from and the restrictions in your local region.

Date labels on egg cartons in the United States include the following:

Best-by. If you consume the eggs before the expiration date, they will be at their best in terms of taste and quality. It’s okay to consume and sell eggs beyond this date if they don’t exhibit any indications of rotting.

Sell-by. An egg pack date of 30 days or less is acceptable. The eggs may be as old as 4 weeks by the time they reach the expiration date.

EXP. A “sell-by” date may also be referred to as an “expiration date.”

The date on which you should have your supplies ready to ship. Eggs were prepared and put into cartons on this day. There are 365 digits in the range of 1–365 shown. The days of the year are numbered sequentially, thus January 1 is 001; January 2 is 002, and so on.

In most cases, eggs may be kept fresh for up to five weeks after they were harvested, washed, and refrigerated. 

Your eggs may begin to lose their freshness after five weeks. They may lose their original taste and color, and even their original texture may be changed somewhat. Even if you keep your eggs in the refrigerator, the quality will deteriorate with time.

But if they stay free of bacteria or mold infection, they may be safe to consume for days or even weeks.

What happens if you eat expired eggs?

It’s possible that eating expired eggs isn’t harmful at all. A few days or weeks beyond their expiry date, you’re unlikely to detect a change in the quality of your eggs as long as they were produced, kept, and cooked correctly.

Eggs that have gone bad or are infected with harmful germs like Salmonella should not be eaten. Salmonella, a bacterium that lives in and affects the digestive systems of both animals and humans, may thrive in eggs.

As one of the most frequent causes of food poisoning, the Salmonella bacteria may produce a wide range of unpleasant symptoms such as high fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

It’s conceivable that eggs purchased from a grocery store might be contaminated with Salmonella. While eggs are in the refrigerator, the bacteria might continue to grow. When it comes to keeping fresh eggs, even if you’re following all the correct procedures, you may still be exposed to Salmonella.

Eggs should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius) to prevent foodborne disease. What if I don’t have a kitchen thermometer? Just be sure you cook your eggs until the yolks are solid and the whites are no longer transparent.

Who should you avoid eating eggs after the expiration date?

Some individuals may be more prone to becoming ill from eggs than others. Because Salmonella is more likely to be contracted by youngsters, the elderly, and those with underlying health conditions, it may be advisable for them to avoid eggs that have expired, spoiled, or are still raw.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection usually disappear within a few days for the vast majority of individuals. But in high-risk groups, this condition may lead to life-threatening complications that need hospitalization, making it more serious.

How to tell if eggs have gone bad? 

Even though the expiration date on an egg carton has passed, it does not always indicate the egg is bad. There’s a good probability that eggs that are still within a few days or weeks of their expiry date and have been stored in a cool, dark place in the refrigerator are still safe to eat.

If the eggs are beyond the expiry date on the carton, you may need to do more testing before deciding on whether or not they are safe to consume.

There are a few easy methods to tell whether an egg has gone bad:

Take a whiff of them. A rotten egg, whether cooked or uncooked, will most likely emit a strong, nasty smell. It’s possible to detect a rotten egg’s scent through its shell, but it’s much more evident when the egg is cracked open.

Examine them from the inside out. There should be no fractures or slime on the eggshell, evidence of mildew, or visible discoloration in the yolk and white.

Follow your instincts. “When in doubt, toss it away,” as the adage goes. If you get a hunch that your eggs are going bad, don’t consume them.

How to prolong the shelf life of eggs?

Even though eggs cannot be stored indefinitely, good cleaning and storage may extend their shelf life significantly. Additionally, these measures assist in inhibiting the proliferation of microorganisms. Here are a few things to keep in mind while keeping eggs to ensure their safety and longevity:

Know whether your eggs have been cleaned

Many people keep their eggs in the refrigerator, but farm-fresh eggs may also be kept on the counter if you’ve heard that before. For a limited amount of time, eggs may be securely stored on the counter if they are left unwashed and at a constant room temperature.

It is more probable to spread germs like Salmonella from the exterior of an egg’s shell to its inside after it has been washed. As a result, the only eggs that may be properly placed on the countertop are those that have not been washed.

Even still, eggs stored in a warm environment are more likely to rot and degrade in quality sooner than those maintained in a cool environment.

Refrigerate your eggs to keep them fresh.

Keeping eggs in a refrigerator around 40°F (4–5°C) is the best method to keep them fresh. To preserve the shell, experts advise against freezing eggs that are still in their shells. Salmonella may be reduced greatly by keeping eggs at a lower temperature and refrigerating them.

As a result, organizations like the CDC in the United States advise consumers to avoid using unrefrigerated eggs at all costs. The door of the fridge isn’t ideal for storing eggs, so if you can, put them on a shelf inside. Because it’s in direct contact with the outside world most of the time, the door tends to become the hottest.

Don’t put anything heavy on top of your eggs while they’re in the fridge, and keep them away from raw meat to prevent the spread of germs. Salmonella and other germs may be kept out of eggs by covering them with plant-based biofilms, which scientists are now investigating.

The refrigerator, on the other hand, may be the greatest place to keep eggs for long-term freshness and safety. It’s best to buy pasteurized eggs if your family is in danger of food poisoning. Eggs are heated to destroy germs on the exterior of the shell but not cooked within during manufacturing. As a result, they may be less prone to bacterial contamination.

In the case of those who are more vulnerable, it is recommended that they consume only pasteurized eggs. Pasteurized eggs are the safest option for anyone at risk of foodborne diseases, such as the elderly, the unwell, children, and those with weakened immune systems. Caesar dressing and hollandaise sauce, for example, maybe made using pasteurized eggs. 

Other FAQs about Eggs that you may be interested in.

Does Microwaving Eggs Destroy Nutrients

How to Cook Eggs in Stainless Steel Pan

How to Suck Eggs

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Eating old eggs” and discussed the risks associated with eating expired eggs.

References

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/expired-eggs#risks
https://greatist.com/eat/expired-eggs

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.