Eating expired eggs: symptoms, remedies, how to recognize the expiration date

Eating expired eggs: symptoms, remedies, how to recognize the expiration date


Expired eggs  can, if consumed, cause some gastrointestinal disturbances but also cause Salmonella infection with more severe symptoms When eggs are bought at the supermarket, the expiration date is often indicated on the shell , within which the food should be consumed.  If this indication is not present, expired eggs can be recognized at home, with the so-called grandmother’s remedies. Even if the eggs are no longer edible, don’t throw them away: they can be a good remedy as a fertilizer for plants, or as a nourishing hair mask .

How to recognize expired eggs

• If the egg sinks to the bottom of a bowl of cold water, it means it is fresh.
• If left halfway through , it is better if eaten after cooking because it is no longer very fresh.
• If, on the other hand, it floats on the surface, it is better not to cook it because it has expired.

Why can this home method be trusted? The explanation is chemical: egg shells are porous and allow the passage of air. If the eggs are fresh they contain very little air, so they will sink to the bottom, while those that are no longer very fresh will fill up with air, until they float.

Egg expiry date: times

On the shell of eggs purchased in shops or supermarkets there is a wording which usually indicates the date of recommended consumption. Furthermore, on the package, on the label , there are the common words: to be consumed within 21 days of laying  or “to be consumed preferably within” 28 days of laying. The laying date and the expiry date are always shown on the package and/or on the shell, so you just need to do a quick calculation to understand if the eggs are fresh or not. The risk of consuming expired eggs is that of contracting salmonellosis, a bacterial infection that manifests itself in the gastrointestinal tract.

Eggs not printed on the shell, therefore purchased fresh from the henhouse, last about 15 days from purchase (therefore from laying). The days go up to 21 if kept in the refrigerator. In the summer months the timing is reduced and they should be consumed within a week. In general, an egg can generally be consumed within 28 days of the laying date. To be safe, however, it is better not to exceed three weeks.

How to interpret acronyms and numbers on eggs

How to read the codes on egg shells? Letters and numbers help us in purchasing and consuming.

The numbers:
• ” 0 “: organic farming , ie which uses feed and fodder from organic farming (produced without the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers and plant protection products). Free-range and free-range hens . Eggs that are closest to those of free-range hens purchased from the producer on the farm. Straw nest laying. Manual harvest.
• ” 1″: outdoor breeding. Manual harvesting
• ” 2 “: breeding on the ground. Manual harvesting
• ” 3 “: battery rearing, or in cages, therefore intensive. Industrial collection and packaging.

On the outer packaging, you will also find:

  • Expiration date,
  • name of the company of origin and/or packaging
  • quality category
  • weight category of eggs

Letters A or B, indicate:

  • “A”: fresh eggs , which can also be eaten without washing them.
  • “B”: they are not intended for large-scale distribution, they are used pasteurized by processing industries (manufacturers of mayonnaise and confectionery products, pasta factories).

The second two letters indicate the country of manufacture.  EN: egg produced in Italy.

The three central numbers indicate  the ISTAT code of the municipality of production.

The penultimate two letters indicate the production province.

The last three letters specifically identify  the name of the farm.

DEP  indicates the day of egg laying.

Expired eggs: health risks

If the expiry date indicated on the packaging or on the egg shell is exceeded, even if the eggs are stored in the refrigerator, it is advisable not to exceed the number of days: in fact, it is not recommended to eat eggs that have expired for three days or more, especially  if eaten fresh. The risks, as already specified, are in fact connected to salmonella, a gastrointestinal infection with symptoms such as nausea , vomiting , diarrhea , abdominal cramps , headache and fever . The likelihood of infection due to Salmonella decreases dramatically if expired eggs have been cooked, even lightly.

Can pasteurized eggs be eaten raw?

Salmonellosis: what it is and symptoms

The risk of contracting Salmonella is mainly associated with the ingestion of contaminated food  during storage and handling. Foods  of  poultry origin, especially eggs and derivatives, and  pork are a frequent cause of salmonellosis. It is good to distinguish between food poisoning or food poisoning:

  • If the disease is caused directly by the presence of an often high number of  microorganisms  in a food, we speak of  food poisoning ;
  • When it is due to the  toxins  produced by the germs in the food, however, we speak of  intoxication

Salmonellosis is a gastrointestinal infection that causes symptoms such as:

  • nausea,
  • vomit,
  • diarrhea,
  •  abdominal cramps ,
  • heachache
  • fever.


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