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How Long Can Store-Bought Eggs Sit Out

How Long Can Store-Bought Eggs Sit Out? Resolved

Last Updated on May 17, 2024 by Shari Mason

Eggs are frequently used in cooking and can be found in many households. It is crucial to ensure that eggs remain fresh and safe to consume. However, despite this, many individuals struggle with determining how long store-bought eggs can be kept out before spoiling.

The answer can depend on various factors, including the temperature and humidity of the environment, whether the eggs have been cooked or not, and whether they have been washed or not. 

Read on for more information.

How Long Are Eggs Good For At Room Temperature?

eggs in tray of carton

Store-bought eggs should not be left at room temperature for over 2 hours. This is because eggs are perishable food and can spoil quickly at room temperature. 

Bacteria can multiply rapidly on the surface of eggs, which can cause foodborne illness if consumed. If you are still determining how long your eggs [1] have been sitting out, it’s best to err on caution and discard them. 

It’s important to note that this recommendation applies to eggs that have not been cooked or washed. 

Cooked eggs can be safely left out for a shorter period, while washed eggs should always be refrigerated.

Read:

Does Temperature & Humidity Affect How Long Eggs Can Sit Out?

Yes, the temperature and humidity of the environment can affect how long store-bought eggs can sit out.

Eggs should be stored in a cool and dry environment, with a temperature between 33-40°F (0-4°C) for maximum freshness and safety. 

If eggs are stored in an environment that is too warm or humid, they can spoil more quickly and become unsafe to eat.

Additionally, eggs can spoil more quickly if exposed to fluctuating or extreme temperatures, such as being left in a car on a hot day. 

Read: Why Do My Eggs Stick To The Pan?

Can You Freeze Store-Bought Eggs?

Yes, you can freeze store-bought eggs. Freezing eggs is a great way to extend their shelf life and prevent them from spoiling. To freeze eggs, crack them into a bowl and whisk them together until well combined. 

Pour the mixture into an airtight container or freezer bag and label it with the date.

“I was eating in a Chinese restaurant downtown. There was a dish called Mother and Child Reunion. It’s chicken and eggs. And I said, I gotta use that one.’

– Paul Simon, American Musician

Frozen eggs can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. When ready to use the frozen eggs, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before using them in your recipe. 

It’s important to note that freezing can affect the texture of the eggs, so they may not be suitable for recipes that require a fluffy or airy texture, such as meringues.

However, frozen eggs can still be used in recipes such as quiches [2], frittatas, and baked goods.

5 Signs That Your Eggs Might Have Gone Bad

close up shot of an egg
  1. Appearance: If the eggshell appears cracked, slimy, or dirty, it may have come into contact with bacteria and could be unsafe to eat. Also, if the egg white or yolk appears discolored or has a strange texture, this could indicate that the egg is rotten.
  2. Smell: Fresh eggs should not have any noticeable odor. If the egg smells rotten or sulfurous, it may be spoiled and should be discarded.
  3. Floating: Place the egg in a bowl of water. If it floats to the top, it could be a sign that air has entered the egg, meaning it has gone bad.
  4. Check the expiration date: If the expiration date on the carton has passed, the eggs may no longer be safe to eat.
  5. Cracking: If you notice cracks in the eggshell, this can create an opportunity for bacteria to enter and spoil the egg.

6 Tips On How To Store Eggs

  1. Refrigerate: Eggs should be refrigerated immediately after purchase to keep them fresh and safe. Store them in their original carton to protect them from breakage and contamination.
  2. Avoid temperature fluctuations: Store eggs in the central part of the refrigerator rather than in the door, where temperature fluctuations can occur when the door is opened and closed.
  3. Wait to wash until ready to use: Wash store-bought eggs until you are ready to use them, as washing can remove the protective layer on the eggshell and make it easier for bacteria to enter the egg.
  4. Use the oldest first: When using store-bought eggs, it’s best to use the oldest ones first to ensure that they are still fresh.
  5. Keep separate from other foods: Store eggs away from raw meat and poultry to avoid cross-contamination.
  6. Don’t freeze in the shell: Do not freeze eggs in their shell, as the expanding liquid inside the egg can cause the shell to crack.

FAQs

u003cstrongu003eDo you need to wash eggs?u003c/strongu003e

Washing eggs is unnecessary as they are already cleaned and sanitized before packaging. Washing eggs can remove the protective layer on the eggshell and make it easier for bacteria to enter the egg, increasing the risk of foodborne illness. It is best to store eggs in the refrigerator in their original carton and only wash them before using them.

u003cstrongu003eWhy u003cstrongu003edon’tu003c/strongu003e supermarkets keep eggs in the fridge?u003c/strongu003e

In some countries, such as the United States, eggs must be refrigerated in supermarkets due to food safety regulations. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eHowever, refrigerating eggs is not legally required in other countries, such as the United Kingdom, as they are produced and packaged differently and have a different protective coating. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eSome supermarkets in the UK choose to refrigerate eggs for consistency and convenience, while others keep them at room temperature.

Final Thoughts

It is essential to handle store-bought eggs properly to ensure they remain fresh and safe. 

Eggs should not be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours and should be stored in a cool and dry environment, with a temperature between 33-40°F (0-4°C) for maximum freshness and safety. 

The temperature and humidity of the environment can affect how long store-bought eggs can sit out, and it’s essential to monitor the storage environment to prevent spoilage. 

Signs that store-bought eggs may have gone bad include appearance, smell, floating, checking the expiration date, and cracking. 

References:

  1. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/eggs/
  2. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/photos/quiche-recipes
Shari Mason

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