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Eggs last how long!? Why, how to tell, and how to make them last longer?

written by

Aaron Miller

posted on

April 8, 2022

Spring is here, and Easter is around the corner. It got me thinking about wonderful pastured soy-free eggs that come with myriad health benefits… and did I mention they’re super yummy, too?

Eggs are a common kitchen staple that most American households keep stocked. However, there is often confusion on how long eggs last and a fear about getting the dreaded “bad egg”.

Let’s shed some light on this egg-ceptional topic.

What is a “bad egg”?

It’s true that an egg’s quality declines as the air pocket inside the shell gets bigger. However, a truly “bad egg” happens when it starts to decompose because of bacteria or mold. At that point, it would be potentially dangerous to consume. 

How long do eggs last?

Well, this depends. Are the eggs washed or not washed? When an egg is laid, it has the “bloom” on it. It’s kind of like the amniotic sac around a mammalian baby. The bloom seals the egg. Air and contaminants cannot penetrate the shell. This makes the egg last longer.

In Europe, laying hens are legally required to be vaccinated for salmonella and are NOT washed. Because of this, if you go to a supermarket in Europe, the eggs are NOT refrigerated. They can be stored at room temperature with the bloom intact.

In the United States, laying hens are NOT vaccinated for salmonella and are legally required to be washed. This removes any residue that would have potentially harmful bacteria. However, it also means that they need to be stored in the fridge for safety reasons.

So… for our American soy-free eggs washed in soapy water, your eggs should last up to 6 weeks past the sell by date in the fridge.

How can I tell how fresh my eggs are? 

Eggs come with a “sell by” date on them. This date is 6 weeks after the date the eggs were packed, which is typically the day they were laid. Some simple math can tell you exactly how old your eggs are.

How can you make eggs last up to 9 months in the fridge?

Yes, this is possible! Preparing eggs for long term storage can provide you food security and help you save by buying in bulk. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Ensure you are using only fresh eggs at room temperature. Check your eggs against light for cracks. If they have any cracks, eat them soon. If they don’t have cracks, you can follow the next steps.

2. Place eggs on a flat surface. Trust me, you will appreciate that later. This process will make the eggs slippery and harder to pick up.

3. Get out coconut oil and warm it up. You can rub some between your hands, or put the whole jar in a bowl of hot water until it’s liquid. It’s important that you use coconut oil, as most other oils will eventually go rancid.

4. Slather the eggs with a little coconut oil. Use your hands to coat each egg evenly and entirely.

5. Place them small-tip down in the carton.

6. It’s recommended to date the box with the month/year the eggs were prepped. Then, store in the fridge.

7. Once a month or so, turn the eggs over (upside down) to keep the yolks from settling.

As with any long term storage, the shelf life is dependent on keeping things in a dark, dry cool location. The cooler the location, the longer it lasts. With proper coating and fridge storage, the eggs should last about 9 months!

I don’t recommend storing coated eggs long term at room temperature, but, if the power goes out (short term or permanently), you’ll have eggs for many meals.

How can I tell if my eggs are still good? 

It’s simple. Fill a bowl with cold tap water and place your eggs in it. If they sink to the bottom and lay flat on one side, they are fresh and good to eat. A bad egg will float because of the large air cell that forms at its base. Any floating eggs should be thrown out, composted, or fed to your pig.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on eggs. 

Would you rather vaccinated unwashed eggs or unvaccinated washed eggs? How do you manage egg storage in your home? How many eggs do you buy at a time and how often? Would you coat your eggs to make them last longer?

Comment below (no account required) or contact us.

PS: Shout out to our amazing long standing customer, Jim, for tips on long term egg storage!

PPS: Miller’s Bio Farm offers 3 types of eggs - brown chicken, multicolored chicken, and duck. And, they are all soy-free! See all egg options here.

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