How Long Do Fresh Eggs Last: Food Safety 101

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Some common questions are, “How long do fresh eggs last?” and “Do you refrigerate fresh eggs?” This is because modern people in the USA live with several layers of separation between themselves and their food.

Most modern food contains preservatives, so it’s difficult to know how long fresh foods, such as eggs, last. 

We will answer these questions and more to ensure you eat healthy and fresh eggs all the time.

What Are the Differences Between Fresh and Store-Bought Eggs?

Purveyors of fresh eggs often cite numerous differences between their product and processed ones sold at the grocery store.

In particular, they claim fresh eggs have a more robust flavor and contain far more nutrients.

Scientists determined there is almost no taste difference between fresh and store-bought eggs.

During blind taste tests, the majority of people could not even tell the difference.

When people were informed about where the eggs came from, though, they started to use more positive descriptors for the fresh eggs.

While the taste difference is subjective, fresh eggs do have far more benefits than those bought from a store, such as:

1. Better Nutritional Value

When compared to store-bought eggs, farm-fresh eggs have:

  • Less saturated fat and cholesterol
  • More omega-3 fatty acids and beta carotene
  • Increased vitamins A, E, and D

Omega-3 fatty acids help the body function daily and prevent chronic diseases like heart ailments.

Vitamins A, E, and most especially, vitamin D help compensate for the common nutritional deficiencies in the modern human diet.

Finally, the lowered amount of cholesterol is great. That is because humans often have too much of the bad type of cholesterol and not enough of the good.

A farm-fresh egg only has the good version and can help the body maintain proper blood levels of calcium and phosphorous.

These changes can be attributed to free-range and small farm chickens having healthier, more diverse diets than their counterparts at large farms or in factories.

These chickens have more opportunities to eat leafy greens, flowers, and crops like corn.

They also get protein from bugs and far more exercise, helping reduce body fat and improve overall health.

2. Improved Safety

Another benefit of choosing fresh eggs over those bought from a store is the overall safety of the product.

A major concern when buying eggs from a factory or large farm is Salmonella spp., which is a type of bacteria affecting humans and animals.

It lives in the intestines and causes a broad range of issues, including food poisoning.

Many hens that live on large farms or in factories can have Salmonella and exhibit no symptoms.

The bacteria is transferred to the egg, and people might get sick from touching, handling, and eating the eggs.

When you get farm-fresh eggs, chickens are less likely to be ill, and you don’t have to worry about diseases.

3. Better Living Conditions

It is best to get farm-fresh eggs because the chickens have better living conditions.

As mentioned earlier, the hens often have access to greater nutrition and more places to roam and get exercise.

Healthier chickens mean the eggs are better for you. You also will have no part in supporting an exploitative chicken industry.

That means fewer harmed animals, better conditions, and a healthier you.

Refrigerating Eggs

The most common practice of storing fresh eggs is putting them in the refrigerator, but is it really a good practice?

Let’s find out by answering some common questions.

1. Do Fresh Eggs Need to Be Refrigerated?

When you buy fresh eggs, it is a good idea to refrigerate them.

Many fresh eggs in the USA undergo a chemical bath that strips away the natural blooms and proteins, which keep the eggs fresh for longer.

Refrigeration preserves the egg for weeks and lets you use the egg without it going bad.

how long do fresh eggs last
Do not wash fresh eggs

2. Do Farm Fresh Eggs Need to Be Refrigerated?

On the other hand, when you purchase eggs from a farm, they don’t always need to be refrigerated.

It once again depends on whether or not the farmer washed the eggs after collecting them.

Many farmers avoid bathing the eggs because they have natural blooms that repel air and bacteria.

However, if the chicken coop was a mess, the farmer might have removed mud and feces from the shell to put the eggs on sale.

Thus, always ask the farmer if the eggs were cleaned before purchasing them.

That said, even though the eggs don’t need to be refrigerated, it is still a good idea.

Farm fresh eggs can last when left on the counter, but their longevity is increased when placed in the cold.

There is an old saying that one day on the counter is the equivalent of seven days in the fridge.

Hence, if you don’t intend to eat the eggs right away, store them in the cold.

3. How Long Will Farm Fresh Eggs Stay Good in the Refrigerator?

Unrefrigerated, unwashed fresh eggs will last at least two weeks, while refrigerated ones can last three months or more.

They have a decent shelf life but will be better when kept cool.

Refrigeration is an excellent way to reduce the chances of bacteria growing on the eggs even if the exterior shell and blooms are still intact.

There are a couple of ways of storing fresh eggs in the fridge.

One is that you can use a basic cardboard egg carton to cradle the delicate eggs and stop them from being damaged.

You can also use a sealable container. These containers actually double the longevity of the eggs so that they can survive for up to six months and still taste fresh.

The only noticeable difference will be the white is slightly more runny than usual.

3. Does Refrigeration Affect Nutrition?

Farm fresh eggs will not lose their nutritional benefits if stored in the fridge.

Can Farm Fresh Eggs Be Frozen?

Now that you know that the answer to the question “Do farm fresh eggs need to be refrigerated?” is not necessarily, but it can help prolong their shelf life, you might be wondering if you can freeze them instead.

Some people enjoy freezing their eggs when they have hens. If your chickens lay more eggs than you can use, you can preserve them for future use. 

While it is possible to freeze the eggs, they will not taste the same once defrosted.

How to Freeze Eggs

If you plan to freeze eggs, here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Separate the yolk from the whites. the simplest way to do so is to get a plastic bottle and unscrew the top.
  2. Place it over the yolk and squeeze so that the yolk is sucked up into the bottle.
  3. You can then put the yolks in one container and the whites into another.

Frozen eggs should last up to six months without difficulty, if not longer.

Should You Wash the Eggs?

No. It is important not to wash the eggs.

But how do fresh eggs remain clean? As mentioned, when eggs leave the hen, they have special blooms on the surface.

It helps keep out air and bacteria, keeping the eggs fresher for longer.

If you want the eggs to stay fresh, it is best to leave the blooms intact.

That said, a common issue for individuals interested in consuming fresh eggs is keeping them fresh and clean without washing them.

The simplest way to do so is to make sure the eggs have a clean environment, and the hens are properly cared for and protected.

To maintain fresh eggs when you are taking them from your own hens, change the nesting box bedding.

This will help keep it tidy and free of excrement and other debris.

If the eggs do get dirty, you will need to rinse the exterior and damage the blooms.

If you do not plan on eating the eggs straight away, it is better to scramble them and feed the egg to a dog or even the hens themselves.

It does not lead to egg eating among the chickens but is a great way to inject extra nutrition into their diets.

Dogs also appreciate the eggs because they are a delicious treat and have extra protein.

How Long Do Fresh Eggs Last

Navigating the world of fresh eggs is easy. They offer numerous advantages over their store-bought counterparts.

They are also a great way to boost your nutrition, tantalize your taste buds, and support small farms.

When you have fresh eggs, you should remember two basic rules: do not wash the exterior and always refrigerate.

That allows you to take advantage of the natural protective layer around the shell and keep your eggs fresh for longer.

Therefore, on average, when refrigerated, your farm-fresh eggs have a shelf life of a whopping three months. They are easy to store and make a good protein source. 

If you choose to seal them in an airtight container, you can get an entire six months out of them.

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