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How Long Do Eggs Last? The Answer is Sure to Surprise You

How Long Do Eggs Last?
Not only are eggs delicious, but they're extremely nutritious when cooked right. While many of us think that the egg's hard outer shell protects its insides, the chances of bacteria penetrating are still high.
Suketu Mehta
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2018
Eggs are a versatile ingredient - they can be eaten for breakfast, served as appetizers, used in desserts, or included as part of a main course meal. For those of you who rely on eggs for daily nutrition or use them in a variety of baked goods, it is better to first be aware of the safety tips that ensure the eggs are clean and fit for consumption. If eggs aren't eaten within the right time frame, people could fall prey to infections or other unpleasant maladies.
How Long Do Eggs Last for Consumption?
Eggs can last for about three weeks from the package date, where they must be stored inside the original carton or in a concealed container before being placed in the refrigerator. They'll last longer and be safer inside the refrigerator from foreign contaminants. Stamped/printed on some egg casings you'll notice two dates, where companies provide a package date with a 30 day time slot for distributors to sell the eggs. Make sure that eggs are consumed before the 'eat by date', and always check to make sure that the 'sell by date' isn't far off from the day it was packaged.

To make sure that your eggs are totally safe from harmful bacteria like salmonella, buy eggs that clearly state that they've been through an in-shell pasteurization process, or a similar method to rid eggs from harmful contaminants. Do not buy eggs that are cracked or unclean-looking by the naked eye. Always wash eggs thoroughly and gently clean its surface before placing it back in its original case.
How to Tell If Eggs Are Stale or Rotten?
How Long Do Eggs Last
The easiest method to determine if eggs are fresh or not, is the 'floating test'. Take a big bowl of water and place an egg gently into it - if it floats, the egg is not safe for consumption because this shows that bacteria has made its way inside, broken down the protein, and formed gases that cause it to float. If the egg sinks to the bottom, it is a sign that it is still fresh and okay to eat. Do this for all the eggs you buy just to be sure they're fresh.

If you keep eggs for too long in the refrigerator and want to extend their shelf life, there's a way you can do so. Beat the eggs together in a bowl, add half a teaspoon of salt and set it in the freezer. The eggs will not rise as nicely as they should, but they will nonetheless last longer in this manner. Remember to first thaw the container holding the eggs before cooking them. Never store whole eggs in the freezer since once they thaw, an unpleasant clumpy paste will release once it is broken.
Important Safety Tips
Eggs prepared in a hot meal should be kept warm (and covered) if left outside, like in a buffet. Cold egg preparations should be kept cool for the same setting.
Cover meal preparations containing eggs with cling film or store in an airtight container before putting them away. Also, make sure a lid or aluminum is placed over a cooked meal if left on the stove or removed from the oven.
Wash eggs thoroughly under lukewarm water, gently wiping them before they're placed in the refrigerator.
Eggs should ideally be stored in their original cases to ensure that no contaminants even from neighboring food items, poses as a problem.
If you pick up a fowl odor coming from an egg you've cracked open, discard it immediately without a second thought.
Look for discoloration in the yolk or egg white (like a pink hue), since these could be signs that it's gone bad.
Cook eggs until the whites and yolks are firm and not runny.
Make sure that eggs aren't cracked open near other food items that are exposed, this may cause some of the raw insides to splash over them.
Be careful not to overcook eggs, since this will destroy their most nutritious parts. A green circular ring or graying around the egg whites is a sure sign that they've been left in boiling water for too long.
As long you follow the guidelines that dictate how eggs should be bought, stored, and cooked, you'll be in the clear from any kind of harmful infection or illness. If you do unfortunately encounter signs like diarrhea or nausea that may be caused by an egg contamination, please visit your doctor with haste to make sure that it is treated in time.
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