Eggs are a natural product that are relatively easy to store and transport, as they don’t require refrigeration or special storage conditions to keep them safe from spoilage.
However, because they are perishable, they will eventually go bad if not handled properly.
If you plan to consume raw eggs within a short period, then you need to know how long your egg will last in order to maximize its freshness.
This article explains some of the things you need to consider when determining the shelf life of eggs.
How long does a shelf life of an egg?
An egg has a limited shelf life.
This is defined as the length of time after which an egg cannot be considered edible.
The shelf life of an egg depends on several factors including the method of preservation, temperature, and type of food.
How to determine the shelf life of an egg?
There are two main methods to determine the shelf life of an egg.
These include using a “use by date” label or “sell by” date.
Using a “use by date” label means that the egg was packed for consumption at an earlier point in time than its expiration date.
You can use this label to find out how many days past the expiry date the egg would be suitable for consumption.
On the other hand, “sell by” labels mean that the egg was sold at an earlier point in time than its expiration date.
Using this label, you can find out how many days beyond the expiry date the egg would still be fit for consumption.
Why do eggs have a shelf life?
Eggs have a shelf life for different reasons.
First, eggs contain proteins, fats, and minerals that contribute to their taste and texture.
When these nutrients degrade, the egg loses its appeal.
Second, eggs undergo chemical changes over time.
If they are exposed to air, water, and heat, the egg will absorb oxygen, become wet, and eventually crack.
Also, it will break down into amino acids, cholesterol, and other components, which could make you sick.
How does the shelf life of an egg affect its quality?
When you buy eggs, you want to purchase them in good condition.
However, there are instances where the eggs may be past their expiration date but still usable. In such cases, the eggs are said to have expired.
They usually look unappealing and lack the desired flavor and textures.
What factors influence the shelf life of an egg?
There are several factors that influence the shelf life of an egg.
Some of these factors include the following:
1. Type of egg
Different types of eggs exhibit varying shelf lives.
For instance, eggs from hens raised under organic farming systems have a longer shelf life than those that were raised using conventional farming practices.
Temperature plays a major role in the shelf life of an egg.
It affects the rate at which an egg undergoes chemical reactions and microbial growth.
3. Method of packing
Different methods of packaging also play a key role in the shelf life of an egg.
For example, storing eggs in a plastic bag will reduce their shelf life compared to keeping them in cartons or cans.
4. Amount of moisture
Moisture helps prevent food spoilage, but too much will ruin your food.
To avoid spoiling your food, remember to follow proper procedures during cooking, especially when baking eggs.
How long can an egg be stored before it goes bad?
You can generally store eggs for up to three months in your refrigerator.
After that, the egg’s quality rapidly deteriorates, and you will lose its flavor and nutritional value.
If you have leftover eggs, you can freeze them.
But, if you plan to consume them right away, you must use them within three weeks.
Also, you must remove them from the freezer once every month to ensure that your eggs remain cold enough to survive.
At what temperature should eggs be stored to maintain their shelf life?
Generally, you should keep eggs in the refrigerator.
However, if you plan to keep them for more than four weeks, you may need to place them in the freezer.
Generally, you can safely keep them frozen for about six months.
How do you extend the shelf life of an egg?
You can extend the shelf life of an egg by placing them in containers made of glass, ceramic, or stainless steel.
You should also make sure that the container is dry.
Lastly, avoid contact between these containers and any kind of foods or liquids.
This will help increase the shelf life of the egg.
The same applies to freezing your eggs.
What are the consequences of consuming an egg with a shortened shelf life?
Consuming an egg with a shorter shelf life increases the risk of food-borne illnesses.
Such illnesses can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and headache.
Other symptoms of food-borne illnesses can include fever, fatigue, and skin rashes.
Japanese Egg Sandwich
- 4 slices Japanese milk bread or white bread
- 3 eggs hardboiled
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- Salt & pepper to taste optional
- Place eggs in a pot, add water, cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 10-12 minutes.
- Transfer eggs to iced water and let them cool before peeling and cutting into small pieces.
- Add eggs, mayo, salt and pepper to a food processor and blend until smooth. Alternatively, mix in a large bowl for a chunky consistency.
- Cut off crusts from bread slices and add the egg spread evenly.
- Optional: add in sliced tomatoes or greens for some added nutrients.
- Assemble sandwich and cut in half to serve.