As a good yet affordable source of protein, eggs are readily available in groceries and health food stores. The egg cartons are labelled with an expiration date or a use-by date which indicates the last date on which the eggs will have the ideal taste and highest quality.
The consumption of expired eggs can heighten the risk of experiencing a sick sensation in the stomach or acquiring a food-borne illness. By being familiar with the risks involved, it can guide you on how to consume eggs safely.
Dating of the egg carton
The egg processors are not obliged to stamp the egg cartons with an expiration date, but they carry a date that informs consumers what month, day and year the eggs were packed. As long as the eggs are stored in the refrigerator at 45 degrees F or cooler, they are safe to eat for 4-5 weeks past the packing date.
In case the egg carton was stamped with an expiration date, the date should not be more than 30 days after the eggs were packed in the carton.
Risk for salmonella
Salmonella is considered as the most prevalent form of food poisoning and eggs are one of the sources of bacteria. Take note that both the egg shell and the interior of the egg including the yolk and white can be contaminated with salmonella. Incorrect cooking or storage of the eggs can also increase the risk of acquiring the sickness.
Salmonella can build up over time. It simply means that as the eggs become older, it carries more of the salmonella bacteria. This is true if the eggs were stored in a temperature higher than 40 degrees F. Since the bacteria cannot be seen, it is vital to discard expired eggs. If you want to learn more about food-borne illnesses, click here.
Other possible health risks
It is important to note that all eggs sooner or later spoil but the organisms that are responsible for causing the spoilage will not cause illnesses. Once eggs start to age, they can grow various kinds of bacteria called pseudomonas.
This can cause the egg to turn bluish-green in color and develop a fruity, sour odor. Even mold can grow on eggs if they are stored in humid areas or washed in dirty water. Although pseudomonas and mold do not trigger food-borne illnesses, they will make an individual sick. If you perceive any changes in color, appearance or odor in the eggs, it is best to discard them.
Safety measures when eating eggs
You have to check the carton to determine if the eggs will stay fresh until you plan to consume them. You should also open the carton and check the eggs. The eggs should be stored in the refrigerator. If left out for 2 hours or more, they are no longer ideal to be eaten. Once eggs warm up, they sweat and encourage the growth of harmful bacteria.