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How old are store bought eggs?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

After reading the thread about peeling hard boiled eggs, I am curious since my fresh eggs are difficult to peel compared to store eggs but on average, just how old are store bought eggs you can buy at the store??

I have never had real fresh eggs until now and i LOVE them!

post #2 of 31

Eggs stay good for a very long time.  Depending on the time of year, they can be several months old.  As eggs age the air cell will get larger.  If you candle your store bought eggs you can tell the freshness.  You will barely be able to see a small air cell on the large end for fresh eggs.  If you see a definate space then your eggs are older and will peel more easily.

Jaynie, Nevada Gal, who's heart is in Dixie

Roll Tide.


Jaynie, Nevada Gal, who's heart is in Dixie

Roll Tide.

post #3 of 31

I do not know if this is fact but I remember someone telling me that store bought eggs are usually a minimum of 90 days old????  Something about mass production and they will sit in a warehouse until ready to be distributed to stores. Maybe someone on here will know I hope.

post #4 of 31

I read about the Julian date elsewhere, but I still wonderd does the "pack" date have to equal the "lay" date?

post #5 of 31

OK, I found the answer myself, from a USDA document (dated January 2006):

The definition for "Eggs of current production" (Sec.  56.1) is changed. It will specify that the term denotes eggs that are no more than 21 days old on the day of packaging instead of the present 30-day limit.

Interestingly, the document also stated:

The first definition for "eggs of current production" was added to the regulations March 1, 1955, and included a 60-day requirement. At that time, the definition allowed buyers and sellers to differentiate between relatively fresh eggs and cold storage or storage eggs. The commercial cold storage of eggs began in the U.S. around 1890, when egg production was seasonal. Cold storage could hold the spring and summer production surplus (about 50 percent of the annual production) for release during periods of relative scarcity in autumn and winter, thus avoiding drastic supply and price fluctuation. Until the 1950s, it was common for eggs to be held in refrigerated storage for up to 6 months.

I also read an article from Mother Earth News, where they tested storage of eggs.  Their conclusion was that eggs refrigerated as long as 7 months (when the experiment ended) were still good.

post #6 of 31

Store eggs are fairly fresh.  There are NO warehouses for eggs to be kept long term.  Commercial eggs are either sold fresh to stores (same day) or broken and sold a variety of ways.  Too many ways to start a list but you would be amazed at the processes. 

In fact most commercial producers would give up the "fresh" market as it's the least profitable.

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 

so the eggs I bought at the store acouple of months ago before my hens started laying could have been older than my hens.....hmm


But the fried eggs I had for breakfast this morning were 3 days old and they were good!!

Interesting question again though, how much time is there typically inbetween the laying date and the packaging date?

Edited by EboyDog - 9/1/07 at 6:37am
post #8 of 31

um, Eboy, I think you misread.

Eggs must be packed within 21 days of lay, and would expire 51 days from lay.  But they are generally shipped MUCH sooner, because it costs money to store eggs.  And even if you were eating an egg that had been refrigerated for 51 days, it would still be good.

post #9 of 31

Here's a question:
Are store bought eggs washed?  I thought it was wrong to wash the eggs because the protective coating that keeps bacteria and such out of the pores of the egg would be washed off.   idunno

post #10 of 31

Store eggs (around here anyway) are bought through local producers. They are "relatively" fresh like the guidelines above say. I would also think that the packaging date is the same day or next day at most after being laid. We are thinking in terms of a few days to get a dozen if we have a couple layers, but the big egg farms (BOO-HISS!) have thousands of hens. They are candled, graded, washed and have an antibacterial put on them.

So yes, they are fresher th an we think.

That being said, I work for Safeway and I never buy eggs there. Partly because I have my own, partly because of the inflated "Free Range" prices (gimmee a break. $4.59+ a dozen) and mostly because I like my eggs coming from chickens who live a freer life.

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