How long can eggs sit out? (+3 ways to spot bad eggs)

In this article, we will answer the question “How long can eggs sit out?” and how to safely store eggs to prevent them from going bad?

How long can eggs sit out?

An egg can sit out safely on the counter for 1-3 weeks. Eggs are considered perishable items and should be handled with utmost care.

In countries like the United States, Australia, Netherlands or Japan, etc, eggs are immediately washed and scrubbed to sterilize them right after they are laid. This prevents contamination but also destroys the outer cuticle of eggs that serves to protect them against bacterial invasion. In such countries, eggs must be refrigerated.

How to tell if the eggs have spoiled?

Let your senses guide you. 

  1. Rotten eggs give off a foul smell. 
  2. If the eggshells feel tacky upon touching and appear slimy or dusty, throw them out because it is a clear indication of bacterial and fungal invasion.
  3. If the eggshell is damaged, it is highly likely that the egg is contaminated. It is better to discard it.

Why do eggs go spoil?

Eggs go bad due to microbial attack. Eggs and poultry are highly susceptible to attack by Salmonella. Refrigeration slows down the growth of bacteria. It is recommended to heat food to an internal safe temperature of 71 degrees celsius to kill salmonella and avoid food-borne illnesses.

How to store eggs safely?

  • Keep eggs in a cool and dark place in the pantry. Do not expose to direct sunlight or moisture.
  • Keep washed eggs in the refrigerator at 4°C or below.
  • Keep an eye on the expiration dates. Do not use eggs past the expiry.

Is freezing eggs a good choice?

Freezing eggs is not recommended. Freezing temperatures damage the quality of an egg to large extents. If an egg is frozen intact, the egg and yolk will expand upon freezing, thus, breaking the eggshell. Moreover, the yolk inside it will solidify and look as if it has been boiled. The egg white will not be able to incorporate air in your baked goods as it will lose its texture as a result of protein denaturation.

So If you do not want to waste your money by freezing eggs then whisk it properly, put the mixture in a freezer bag, and store it for up to 4 months.

If you wish to store your raw egg white and yolk separately, you can save their quality by whisking your egg white or yolk with sugar, salt, or corn syrup depending on their end-use.

How to tell If the eggs are fresh or not?

In order to distinguish a fresh and old egg, two very famous methods are as follows.

Float test

This is the easiest method to identify fresh eggs. Carefully submerge an egg in a bowl filled with water. If the egg jumps to the surface and starts to float, it is old. If the egg settles down at the bottom, it is fresh.

After an egg is laid, its temperature drops during which an air cell forms inside of it at the larger end. This space grows larger due to continuous evaporation. Therefore an older egg with a larger air cell floats over water.

Egg candling

Egg candling is performed using a candling lamp to check the stage of chick development inside a fertilized egg. It can also be used to check the freshness of an egg.

A bright light source is used to see through an egg from its broader side. If it looks empty or you feel the egg contents movings inside because of larger air space, the egg is old.

What to do with old eggs?

  • Eggs are a rich source of calcium, phosphoric acid, and nitrogen. Even after spoilage eggs can be used in the garden to reap these nutrients. Just bury the spoiled eggs in your garden and it will act as a fertilizer when it decomposes. Before doing so, make sure you check the plant’s needs.
  • If the eggs are not-so-fresh to be edible, use them to make a hair mask for a protein boost. Use the only yolk to moisturize dry hair. If you have an oily scalp, use egg white.
  • Egg white is a rich source of protein and if it does not smell too bad, use it to make an egg white mask to combat acne and shrink pores.
  • Egg yolk is rich in oils and can be used to make egg tempera for oil painting. Just whip some yolk, water, and pigment, and paint.

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question “How long can eggs sit out?” and how to safely store eggs to prevent them from going bad?

References

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-long-do-eggs-last#TOC_TITLE_HDR_6

.

Sana Ameer

Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *