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 Post subject: Re: Shelf life
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:48 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:35 pm
Posts: 707
Hi There "SusanHubble"
You have hit it right on the head :nail:
How old are the shop eggs when they look like they do.... :shoc
This is what I was pointing out on an earlier comment, that if the eggs are stored correctly how can they not keep....
IE Correct temperature, stable temperature ie no variance.
Heaven know's what they use on the eggs in the larger production areas. :doh
My eggs hold an amazing shape and colour and that is why I could not understand why the white eggs were supposedly not up to par.
Again it was just some research I did on the keeping capacity of thinner shelled white eggs.
The green eggs I produce have an even longer keeping capacity as do the duck eggs.
So this theory must have some substance behind it.... :dontknow


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 Post subject: Re: Shelf life
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 12:40 pm 
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Golden Phoenix
Golden Phoenix

Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:39 am
Posts: 10113
Location: Tarago, near Goulburn
lucky 992 wrote:
Interesting topic. This was one of the reasons that I first joined this site ie to find out shelf life or preserving techniques for eggs to get us through the winter break.
Eventually I found an article in one of the magazines, earth garden maybe? which did an actual test on all the folk lore attached to this subject, from burying them in wet sand to pickling to just leaving them at room temp etc.
The bottom line was that if you keep them in the fridge at just above zero degrees (I think they quoted 1.4 or 1.6 degrees) then they were still edible if a bit rubbery in 6 months time! :shock: :shock: :shock:
Well I know one black duck that wont be eating 6 month old eggs, but it was interesting none the less.


Eggs used to be preserved in isinglass, wax, salted water (whole, in the shell), or even just hay to keep them on long voyages. Blocking the pores on the eggshell prevents that loss of air and the possible ingress of bacteria. I'd still be a tad dubious about eating an egg that merely had its pores blocked for heaven knows how long, however - and, given how many ships actually attempted to carry live chooks instead, I suspect the results may have been less than reliable.

Preservation techniques that cook the egg first would be fine.

I've inadvertently frozen whole eggs before when the fridge had problems, and they appeared to unfreeze fine although some did crack. I've read of others cracking whole eggs into containers and freezing those. Certainly works for eggwhites. Generally frozen egg works best when baked or, as fluffychicken says, scrambled etc afterwards.

You can dry egg, too - I've seen powdered egg in supermarkets. Obviously only good for baking, and I do sort of wonder how effective it would still be as a binding agent at that point. That's what happens to the cracked and grubby eggs in a commercial setup - they're not washed or sold as whole egg, but turned into "pulp" (presumeably removing the damaged/soiled eggshell component) and then presumeably dried/mixed/turned into commercial baking products.

The chinese "thousand-year egg" is the result of storing in sand/ash and the innards changing state. They're not rotten by any means, and they're not cooked, they're just sort of highly concentrated. I've not eaten one, but I guess, I should ... :)


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 Post subject: Re: Shelf life
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 12:57 pm 
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Golden Phoenix
Golden Phoenix

Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:39 am
Posts: 10113
Location: Tarago, near Goulburn
On commercial egg supply regulations, I've got a few comments. There's a few ways to sterilise eggs - washes, fogs, ozone - I only came across the terms whilst doing research so I'm not specifically familiar with how it all works. The ideal is, of course, that the eggshell never touches any liquid from the point it's laid to the point it reaches the customer's kitchen. The bloom thus remains intact and there's no risk of bacteria being drawn inside, as long as the eggshell is completely uncracked and there's no dirt on the shell itself.

I should note that my “What is the world coming to?” was actually a wry comment on my insatiable need to dig down to the facts of a situation, not on the need to wash or test eggs before sale.

Common sense is fine for individuals and what they do in their own homes. And what may not have killed us or our ancestors did, in fact, kill other people. Obviously, their descendents aren’t here to tell us about it, however.

However, we live in a very crowded, very busy, and very grubby society, where some suppliers (and of course I don’t mean anyone on BYP – people who care about posting on a forum care about their food) will forgo time-wasting hygiene procedures in order to make a few extra cents profit. We all know such dodgy brothers exist in all areas of life.

And the issue with the supply of fresh, raw products such as eggs and meat is that if they go off, due to lax supply and handling procedures somewhere along the line (including at the customer's end), they can kill or permanently harm people. And they do, even in this day and age. For example, my sister-in-law now only has one functioning kidney and diabetes from an E. coli infection, contracted overseas (in a place that doesn’t have laws or adequate enforcement of same around the handling of raw food products) that developed complications and landed her in hospital for over 6 months.

So there are laws around the production, storage, transport, and supply of such raw products.

I’m a complete cynic when it comes to laws, so I read them in great detail. That way, if I break them, I’m a conscientious and informed objector.

The laws governing fresh egg supply, however, I mostly agree with, partly because they’re actually very simple, and because they really do seem to have disease and illness prevention at their heart. They are:

* must be clean and uncracked
* soiled eggs can be washed with a suitable food-grade cleaner (there are a few options – plain water may be one of them but I don’t really know, as I prefer just not to supply soiled eggs at all)
* cracked eggs must not be sold as whole egg at all
* must be provided in new cartons
* must have a best-before date provided
* must be stored up to 12C (I was wrong, again – I thought it was 12-16C, but apparently not).

And a new requirement, about which I am rather ambivalent but will comply with when the time comes (November 2014 in NSW; it's technically a legal requirement right now):

* eggs must be individually stamped to identify the supplier. (That’s a whole ‘nother discussion – see the BYP threads here: http://forum.backyardpoultry.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8026898 and here: http://forum.backyardpoultry.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8026840. ).

So fluffychicken was absolutely correct to call out her restaurant’s storage of eggs in a warm place above the fridge. How could they possibly justify that? Why aren’t they aware of the requirements for storing raw egg products? Are they aware of the risks of incorrectly storing them? And fluffychicken, were you aware that if someone had got sick due to your restaurant’s incorrect storage procedures, you might have got caught up in the furore, even though you might have been doing absolutely the right thing all along?

It’s incumbent on all us small-scale egg suppliers to know the laws and to stick to them, because one slip-up by one of us brings the wrath of the major corporations down on our entire industry – and we’re marginal enough as it is without being squeezed by fear at the same time. We should also educate our customers on their requirements because protecting them protects us – it’s enlightened self-interest.

The Australian Egg Corporation Limited (AECL) has additional requirements for its members, which some places also think have the force of law, but they don’t.

For eg, there’s a wide-spread belief that fertile eggs must not be provided as eating eggs. I was told this by the NSW DPI when I checked, after a BYP discussion a few years back. I was told "the AECL says this … ".

However, to this date no-one – repeat – NO-ONE - has provided any document that has the force of law to support their contention. Therefore, until they do, I’ll continue to supply potentially-fertile eggs in my mix. I don’t agree with the AECL’s stance on small-scale egg suppliers and on the definition of “free-range” so I won’t join the organisation so, as far as I’m concerned, they and their Code of Conduct, where it expands on or deviates from the actual law, have no authority over me.

Do I cause risk by supplying fertile eggs? No. It’s not legislated against and fertile eggs, if stored and handled as per the law, pose no more risk than unfertilised eggs. So I’ll uphold the law. I just won’t uphold a corporation’s interpretation of the law.

But I will sell my eggs in clean, new cartons; date-stamp them; remove the grubby eggs for my own use; store them in the fridge until supply; and put a blessed stamp on each individual little damn egg (bit grumpy about that one). I'll keep the records as required under State law and register my business when it provides more than 20 dozen eggs per week. And so on.


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 Post subject: Re: Shelf life
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:31 pm 
Hi Fluffychicken

Its a mystery isn't it how they can be so poor quality if they are indeed only available to be sold until 35 days after laying them. Maybe the 35 days is after hey are out of cold storage which could be months and months or maybe they freeze them or something.

I took myself to my local Woolworths this afternoon and took a look, they all ranged with a best before of between the 5Th May to the 10th May 2014 so that would be around the 35 days I guess. Just as confused as ever but I'm not selling my eggs so it doesn't really matter, just curious how long they would be ok in the fridge for.


fluffychicken wrote:
Hi There "SusanHubble"
You have hit it right on the head :nail:
How old are the shop eggs when they look like they do.... :shoc
This is what I was pointing out on an earlier comment, that if the eggs are stored correctly how can they not keep....
IE Correct temperature, stable temperature ie no variance.
Heaven know's what they use on the eggs in the larger production areas. :doh
My eggs hold an amazing shape and colour and that is why I could not understand why the white eggs were supposedly not up to par.
Again it was just some research I did on the keeping capacity of thinner shelled white eggs.
The green eggs I produce have an even longer keeping capacity as do the duck eggs.
So this theory must have some substance behind it.... :dontknow


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 Post subject: Re: Shelf life
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:41 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:35 pm
Posts: 707
Hi There Again
I am just going to "pop my two bobs worth in again" :peece :think:
"Guzzi-Girl" nailed it too quite frankly in an earlier comment..... :nail:
"Just check the egg when you crack it open". :thumbs:
I have people who refuse to buy cage or shop eggs....

So much processed and chemically treated food these day's. :globe
"I still smell the milk before I put it in my coffee" :dontknow
Everything has become so processed......
:dedhrs


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