How long can you store eggs? And is it better to do it inside or outside the fridge? | to eat

Everyone buys eggs sometimes, although there are still enough in the house. What do you do with eggs that you bought a long time ago or that you lost track of? “Definitely don’t store it in the refrigerator compartment by the door,” explains food microbiologist Frank Defliger (UGent). It lists what to watch out for and the best way to store those eggs.

“Eggs can be stored for a long time. This is due to the impressive protective structure they have, which immediately explains their long shelf life, ”explains Professor Defliger. “They are made up of different layers. This ensures that microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria do not get into the yolk.” The tiny pores of the egg sometimes allow intruders. If bacteria and fungi can penetrate the membrane, they will have to deal with the protein. Will the bacteria survive? Then they end up in the most delicate part: the egg yolk. There they will begin to grow.


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Most mold and bacteria are harmless: they’ll basically spoil the taste of your egg in the first place.

Frank Defliger

“However, this does not mean that your eggs will spoil immediately,” Devlieghere asserts. “Only the risk of harmful bacteria increases. Just think of salmonella, a bacterium that can cause severe diarrhea and a high fever. In the worst case, overgrown mold can form toxins again, which are carcinogenic in the long term and with regular exposure. Fortunately, Most fungi and bacteria are harmless: they primarily spoil the taste of your egg.”

Professor Frank Defliger’s advice on how to identify fresh eggs and when it is best to leave eggs lying flat. © Frank Defliger

In or out of the fridge?

Exactly how long can you store eggs and, above all, what is the best place to store them? “You can store eggs in the refrigerator for at least one month—usually this is a week after the sell-by date,” says Devlieghere. “Keep them in the refrigerator, not outside. The reason they are not in the cold compartment of a department store is because of the risk of condensation and thus mold formation. Because eggs have a porous shell, as mentioned above, any mold will easily penetrate there. Once you bring it home Not only will the refrigerator keep your eggs fresher for longer, but it will also prevent the growth of salmonella.”


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You can store eggs in the refrigerator for at least one month, and usually up to one week after the sell-by date

Good balanced cooling in that fridge is also very important. “Bacteria like Salmonella cannot continue to grow at 7 degrees Celsius. Other bacteria will also be able to penetrate the yolk much more slowly. But be careful, because with dry eggs, bacteria cannot penetrate the shell. They need moisture. On the other hand, if you keep the egg cold, water may appear on the surface due to temperature differences in the refrigerator.This is why it is important to store eggs at a constant temperature.So do not put eggs in the refrigerator door that opens regularly, but in the back or in stairs.” You can also just leave them in their cardboard box, which makes a good initial barrier against condensation.

It is best to keep eggs in the refrigerator.
It is best to keep eggs in the refrigerator. © Getty Images

Red spots and yolks are spaced

Moreover, you have to rely on your sense of smell and sight for the freshness of the eggs. “Does the protein turn green, black, or red? Then you can be sure that bacteria have developed there. The same goes for black spots or mold spots in egg whites or yolks. Little red spots can’t hurt, they only indicate The blood vessels that burst in the chicken when it laid the egg. Does the egg start to smell too? Then definitely go away! Then it definitely isn’t good anymore.”

What if you doubt? “If your eggs look good, but they’ve been in the fridge too long, you can hard-boil them to kill any potential microorganisms. Eggs over two months old lose their structure and I’d throw them away anyway. When you open such an old egg, the yolk often runs out on The instant and the egg whites will also be difficult to whip. Important milestones.”

How do you know how old an egg is?

“When an egg is freshly laid, it has a good, compact structure. After a while, oxygen will enter through the pores of the shell and the egg’s moisture will evaporate. For example, an air bubble will slowly but surely form in the egg. This is also why people sometimes put eggs in water: the egg will sink.” Fresh almost immediately, because there is hardly any air in the food.With a 1-2 week old egg, an air bubble will have already formed inside, so the egg will still sink, but will already stand upright.With a 3-4 week egg, The air bubble will become so large that the egg will float.”

If you put a fresh egg in the water, it will sink almost instantly, because there is hardly any air left in the food.
If you put a fresh egg in the water, it will sink almost instantly, because there is hardly any air left in the food. © Getty Images

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