“How Long Are Eggs Good For?” might sound like something too trivial to talk about but did you know that failure in knowing particular answer to this particular question would save you a lot, both in terms of health and financial? Eggs are considered cheaper in price compared to meat, fish, or poultry. This makes some people slightly underestimate the shelf-life of a pack of eggs. Generally speaking, eggs are an item of perishable nature. As such, one needs to refrigerate them as soon as one gets them from the store. Stored properly, eggs can last for quite some time—you might even waste your money if you throw the eggs away once the expiration date comes. In countries such as Netherlands, Sweden, Japan, Australia, and the US, eggs undergo sanitation and washing process the moment they’re laid. This is done so to prevent them from getting contaminated by Salmonella, which is the main culprit for food poisoning. Washing and sanitation, however, remove an egg’s natural cuticle on its surface that functions as its protective layer. As a result, bacteria move through the shell rather easily—the washed eggs end up pretty much contaminated any way. Storing eggs inside the fridge keeps the bacteria at bay for the moment. The cold temperature would then collaborate with the eggs’ shell and enzymes, making said eggs stay good for consumption for a prolonged time.
That being said, fridge does not offer permanence for eggs in terms of usability. Over time, eggs’ quality would decline. The air pocket inside the shell would grow larger so much so that the yolk and the white inside dry up. The eggs will not go bad but they would definitely be rendered useless. “How Long Are Eggs Good For?” would then be a question regarding their usability rather than their time being fresh.
So, How Long Are Eggs Good For before they go bad and not suitable in any sense of the word for consumption? Again, it all depends on their handling and storing. Kept in the fridge, they would stay good for lots of weeks (in the freezer, they would reach a time beyond that). But “many weeks” is a too vague a timescale; you’ll want a rather fixed timeframe, won’t you? Within the store (that is, the time from they’re washed to the moment they’re put on display), eggs are stored in a controlled environment that measures at -45 degree F. It is their handling post-purchase that determines their freshness. Below is the chart you can use as a guide to keep track on eggs’ (or products using eggs’) freshness:
|Fresh, in-shell eggs||<2 hours (Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, Japan, the US;
1-3 weeks for other countries
|Fridge only, 4-5 weeks|
|Egg yolks, raw||<2 hours||2-4 days (fridge), 1 year (freezer)|
|Egg whites, raw||idem||idem|
|Eggs, hard-boiled||idem||Fridge only, 1 week|
|Eggs, pasteurized liquid or substitute||idem||Fridge: 10 days (unopened), 3 days (opened);
Freezer: 1 year (unopened), not recommended if opened
|Eggnog||idem||Fridge: 3-5 days (store-bought), 2-4 days (homemade);
Freezer: 6 months (storebought), homemade not recommended
|Casseroles||idem||Fridge 3-4 days,
Freezer: 2-3 months after baked
|Pies/quiches||idem||Idem (freezer not recommended for custard-filled pies|