How Long Can Eggs Last & What Happens on Eating Expired Eggs?

Eggs are the cheapest source of protein and can be easily found in almost every house sitting in the fridge.

Along with being cheap, they are easy and fast to cook and can be a quick meal.

The cartons in which the eggs are available do mention the best-before date. It helps in knowing how old the eggs are.

Also, it might make you wonder whether there is an expiry date for eggs. What happens if someone eats expired eggs?

It should be known that if stored properly the eggs can last beyond their expiry date and can be safe to eat as well. Also, if not stored properly might get contaminated with harmful bacteria. It is therefore important to know the difference between safe and spoiled eggs.

How Long Can Eggs Last?

If the eggs are washed and stored in the refrigerator they can last up to 3-5 weeks. (1) After that, the freshness of the eggs may start to decline and the eggs may lose flavor, color, and texture.

When brought from stores you might not be aware how long they would be lying there. This is where the labels play a role. The date labels printed on the cartons can help us know about the expiry date and processing date of the eggs.

As long as the eggs remain free from bacterial contamination, they are safe to be consumed.

What Happens on Eating Expired Eggs?

As long as they are stored and cooked properly there is not much concern in eating expired eggs.

Eggs if contaminated with bacteria like salmonella can have dangerous consequences. (2, 3, 4)

Eggs are at high risk of salmonella infection, a bacteria that can affect the digestive tract of humans and animals. (5, 6) It can lead to symptoms like fever, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Salmonella can be present inside as well as outside of the eggs, because of which even if storing fresh eggs in the refrigerator you could get salmonella infection.

To avoid contracting food-borne illness from eggs it is best to cook them at an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

Children, older adults, and people with ongoing illnesses should avoid expired eggs as they are at a higher risk of getting infected.

How to Know the Eggs are Expired?

It is not necessary, if the eggs have crossed their expiry date they may be spoiled or have gone bad.

If you have stored them properly they can be consumed even after the expiry date has crossed a few weeks.

If the eggs are not stored properly and have crossed the expiry date you need to assess whether they are spoiled or not.

Few simple ways in which you can decide whether or not the eggs have been spoiled are as follows:

  • Spoiled eggs may have a strong foul odor whether they are cooked or in the raw state. It can be noticeable even if you smell the eggs from out of the shell.
  • Look for any cracks or slime present on the shell. If it is there the egg is more likely to be rotten or spoiled.
  • Last but not least, if you have doubts before consuming it, just put it away. If you think the egg has started to spoil just throw it.

How to Store Eggs for Long Lasting Freshness?

Storing the eggs properly can keep them fresh and good to consume for a longer time.

There are a few methods that can be considered while storing eggs.

  1. It is very important to know whether your eggs are washed or not. Washed eggs have higher chances of getting infected from salmonella. These eggs for sure should be kept in the refrigerator to make them last longer. (7, 8) Eggs that are not washed can be easily stored on the countertop.
  2. Eggs may get spoiled at higher temperatures or fluctuating temperatures. This is why refrigerating them is important. Few studies show storing eggs in refrigerators lowers their chances of getting contaminated with salmonella. (8, 9)
  3. It is safe to go for pasteurized eggs if you are at a higher risk of contracting the infection. During pasteurization, eggs are heated in enough warm water that kills the bacteria on the outside of the shell without cooking the egg from inside.

Eggs are extremely nutritious and very beneficial. If you know how to safely store them you can get the maximum goodness from them.

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