Tuesday, December 8, 2009
How Long Do Fresh Eggs Last?
Ever wonder how long fresh eggs last? After being asked this question and not really knowing the answer I finally did some research and came up with these interesting facts.
- Eggs can remain edible for even longer than a month, but freshness (egg yolk that sits firm and high, and a thick viscous egg white) will be noticeably less after two weeks.
If eggs start out as Grade AA, they remain AA for only two weeks if properly refrigerated. After that, they'll be Grade A for another 2 weeks.
- Here is a true test of freshness: Get a bowl of cold water. Put the whole egg in the water. If it sinks, it's fresh; if it floats to the top, it is old. It will kind of lay almost on its side. You can see the age of it by how much it floats. It's a good idea to do this test before selling any eggs if you suspect they are older than two weeks.
However, by putting the eggs in water, you wash away the bloom from the egg, a protective layering that prevents bacteria from entering the egg. Therefore, unless you are not expecting to keep the eggs for very long, you should not put them in water. If you must wash the eggs, use HOT running water.
- Farmers have 30 days from the day an egg is laid to get it to stores. Then, the stores have another 30 days to sell the eggs. The USDA recommends a maximum of 5 weeks in your refrigerator before you discard your eggs. What does this all boil down to? On April 1, you could be eating an egg that was laid on Christmas.
- Many eggs in the U.S. get to market within a few days of laying. If there is a USDA shield on the carton, it must have at least a Julian pack date. A use-by is not required, but if used, it must not be more than 45 days from packing. If the eggs are not distributed interstate, state laws will apply and are variable.
- Keep in mind that farmers generally get their eggs to stores within a week, and both the "pack date" and "sell by" date are stamped onto the carton. The
numbers run from 1-365, depending on the day of the year. Lastly, there is a big difference in taste between farm fresh eggs and week-old eggs. If you want the freshest eggs, you can buy from a local farmer.
- There is an expiration date on the carton. If in doubt, put the egg in water. If it floats, do not use it.
I do have a limited number of fresh eggs available if you are interested in buying farm fresh eggs. I sell them for $2/dozen. Let me know if you are interested!
A couple of weeks ago I found this monstrous egg in one of the nesting boxes. It was huge and had a double yoke. Crazy. I felt sorry for the chicken who laid that egg. Get a ruler out and see how big a 3 inch egg is. The two on the left are regular sized eggs, like a large and an extra large. The monster egg was even bigger than an extra large egg on the egg scale!!
Then this week I found this puny little blue egg. I wonder what was up with that?
Did the chicken get interrupted while she was laying or did she just get bored with the process and decided to call it quits before the egg was the proper size. Guess I need to do some more research on exactly how a hen develops an egg and the whole process. I'll fill you in on what all I find out. Or even better, if you are an egg expert, why don't you fill me in! Leave a comment or two!
The weather is still cold and snowy and we are still trying to get our corn harvested. Our trip to Japan to see Nick, our oldest who is stationed at Yokota Air Force Base near Tokyo, is fast approaching. Yikes, I hope we can get everything taken care of before we go!
Think we'll have omelets for dinner tonight! Thanks chickies for all your hard work and the fruits of your labor!
Y'all come back now, ya hear.
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