Left Eggs in Car? – Here’s What to Do.

Eggs are a household staple in America, and sometimes people can forget eggs in their car along with other grocery items.

If you’ve left eggs in car, you may be wondering if they’ve gone bad. So, here’s a quick answer for when you’re unsure about eating eggs left out in the sun or inside your car!

Eggs left in a car for more than three or four hours can start to go bad. Eggs left in a warm car during colder weather will usually be fine. If eggs in the car start to “sweat,” it can mean that the eggs are at risk of bacterial growth.

But many factors, including the car temperature and if the eggs are store-bought or sourced from the farm, affect how long they can be left out. 

 We’ve made a short guide to answer all your questions about whether your eggs are still good or at what temperature they stay fresh. 

 Let’s get started.

Left Eggs Out Overnight – Are they Bad?

Click play to watch how you can safely leave eggs out overnight.

 There’s no leniency regarding safety recommendations for eggs left in your car overnight. But leaving eggs out overnight at your kitchen counter is a different story.

 So, how safe is it to eat eggs left out overnight?

Eggs left in a car overnight at temperatures above 45 degrees will not be safe to eat. The room temperature doesn’t change excessively. But the temperature in your car will fluctuate dramatically from afternoon to evening, at night, and then again in the morning.

This fluctuation in temperature is very harmful to eggs. Bacteria are much more likely to grow. If you’ve left eggs in the car overnight, the best thing is to discard them. 

 If you’ve left your ‘straight out of the farm eggs’ out in the car overnight, they are still edible. This is because eggs don’t have to be refrigerated unless they have been commercially sanitized.

 How Long Can Eggs Be Left Unrefrigerated?

Click play to watch how long can eggs sit out.

Once you’ve stored raw eggs in a refrigerator, keep them refrigerated until they’re ready to be cooked. The USDA guidelines recommend that fresh, shelled eggs not be unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours.

Once eggs have been cooled, bringing them to room temperature or higher can cause them to “sweat.” That moisture can allow for the movement and growth of bacteria.

However, there are many cases of professionals not only using eggs that have been left out overnight but recommending it.

According to these chefs, if you cook your eggs thoroughly and wash your hands after handling them, eggs left out overnight should be safe to eat.

However, it should be stated once more for clarity that eggs left in the car are still unsafe to eat because of the excessive temperature fluctuations.

Can You Leave Eggs in a Hot Car?

Eggs left in a car that is 85 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter will develop bacteria growth within an hour.

Eggs exposed to hot temperatures and humidity will become infected by bacteria faster than those left at room temperature. Therefore, you should try the tests listed above to ensure eggs are still edible after being left out for more than an hour on a hot day.

Even eggs sourced from the farm will go bad quicker at higher temperatures. Although they may last longer in high temperatures than store-bought ones, they can go bad quickly in extreme temperatures.

Should You Leave Eggs in a Cold Car?

You can leave eggs in a cold car that is 40 degrees or less, and they will still be edible after hours.

Refrigerators are usually set to 40 degrees or lower. If the temperature of your car is equal to the temperature of your refrigerator, then your eggs will remain safe to eat. 

You can leave your eggs in a cold car for up to 5 weeks, but if the temperature fluctuates up to over 40 degrees for more than 30-minutes, your eggs will no longer be safe to eat. 

If eggs are left out for longer periods, and you are unsure if the temperature fluctuates, it’s best to test them before cooking them.

What if Eggs Freeze from Being Left in the Car?

Eggs left in temperatures below freezing are still edible as long as the shells are intact.

If the egg shells have cracked, you must discard the entire eff. 

However, you can still use the egg if it hasn’t cracked. Ideally, a frozen egg should remain frozen until you use it. Thaw it in your refrigerator and then cook it when you intend to use it.

Is there a difference between frozen and unfrozen eggs?

Yes. A frozen egg will have a thicker and more syrupy yolk. As a result, it won’t blend well with the egg white or other possible ingredients. The best thing is just hard-cook frozen eggs. 

How Long Can You Safely Leave Eggs in the Car?

You should never leave store-bought eggs in the car for more than two hours at room temperature. But if you have no choice, just leave your eggs in the car for a limited time and keep the AC on. 

If you are still on the fence about whether or not your eggs are edible, simply test them using one of the techniques below.  

Simple Ways to Tell if Eggs Are Still Good

Tests such as a sniff test or float test can help you determine if your egg is good or bad. Almost everyone has been faced with this issue — you may want to cook an egg for breakfast but can’t remember how long they have been out there. Or if you left eggs in the car, are they safe to eat after three, four, or eight hours?

Over time, an egg’s quality begins to deteriorate. However, an egg only “goes bad” when you notice bacteria or mold.

In fact, your eggs may be perfectly safe to eat for many more weeks.

When in doubt, there are methods you can use to check if your eggs are good or bad. Here are the top five.

Check the Expiry Date

One of the simplest ways to tell if your eggs are still good is to check the expiration date on the carton. But if you throw your eggs out as soon as this date arrives, you may be wasting perfectly good eggs.

In the US, eggs are labeled with either a “sell by” or expiration date, depending on which state you’re in, to determine if your eggs are still fresh.

A “sell by” date shows how long a store should offer eggs for sale — but not necessarily that the eggs are spoiled.

On the other hand, an expiry date marks the date after which the eggs are considered unsafe to eat. And even though the quality of eggs may start to decline after a certain date, they may still be safe to eat for several weeks — especially if eggs are properly stored and refrigerated, which preserves the quality and prevents any bacterial growth.

However, if your eggs are left in the car for many hours, you may need to use another method to tell if the eggs are good or bad.

Conduct a Sniff Test

The sniff test is reliable for telling whether an egg has gone bad.

If you’ve left eggs in the car, you can tell if they are still edible with a simple sniff. Eggs that have gone bad will have n unpleasant smell, regardless of whether they are raw or cooked.

If you can’t tell while the egg is in the shell, crack the egg onto a clean plate and give it a quick sniff.

If anything smells bad, toss the egg and wash the plate with hot, soapy water before using it again.

Lastly, if your eggs left in the car smell normal, meaning there is no odor at all, that’s a sign that these eggs are still safe to use.

Complete a Visual Inspection

In addition to your sense of smell, your vision is valuable for telling whether an egg has gone bad.

While the egg is in its shell, check if the shell is not cracked, slimy or powdery.

Sliminess or cracks may indicate the presence of bacteria, while a powdery appearance may indicate mold.

If the eggshell appears dry and undamaged, crack the egg into a clean plate instead of cracking it directly on a saucepan. Look for any red, blue, green, or black discoloration in the yolk or whites, as this may indicate bacterial growth.

If you notice any discoloration in eggs left in the car, throw them out.

You can also check if the whites or yolk of the egg are runny. This clearly indicates that the egg is old and its quality has declined. But this does not mean it has gone bad and can still be fine to use.

Perform a Float Test

The float test is another popular method for checking whether an egg has gone bad.

This is also a method for determining the age of an egg developing into a chick.

Set your egg into a bowl or bucket of water to perform the float test. If the egg sinks easily, it is fresh and safe to eat. If it tilts upwards or floats, it is old and spoiled.

Candle Test

This is a common method used to assess a raw egg’s quality.

This is done using specialized equipment to ensure the proper grading of raw eggs before they are packaged.

But you can also try this on your eggs at home.

You’ll need a dark room and a bright source of light. People used candles to assess egg quality in the past, hence the name “candling.” But you can also use a small flashlight or reading light instead.

Hold the light source up next to the large end of the egg. Then, tilt the egg from left to right. If done correctly, you’ll illuminate the contents of the egg.

You can also tell by moving the egg from side to side how firm the egg’s white and yolk are. Less movement means your egg is fresh and safe to eat.

Candling may require practice, but it allows you to check if an egg is fresh or not. 

Tips to Store Eggs

 Most people store eggs in the plastic holder of refrigerator doors. Why else would they add that little feature?

However, storing your eggs in the refrigerator door isn’t the best way to keep them fresh despite its convenience.

So, what’s a safe way to store eggs?

The best way to go is to leave your eggs in their store-bought carton and keep them on the middle shelf of your refrigerator.

So if you have been storing your eggs all wrong or forgetting eggs in your car, learning these five tips can help you fix your egg storage errors and enhance your food safety IQ.

Use the store-bought carton.

Whether you love your ceramic egg cartons or want to use the egg-holder insert in your fridge, keeping your eggs in the Styrofoam or cardboard container is your best bet. These materials help cushion your eggs to prevent breakage. Plus, the “expiry by” date is clearly marked, so you don’t end up consuming spoiled eggs.

Keep eggs in a closed carton.

As per USDA law, eggshells must be sanitized before being packaged and sold. This process strips the eggs of their natural protective oils, making the eggshells’ pores more easily permeated by strong odors in your fridge. That’s why storing your eggs in their original packaging will protect them from absorbing any strange food odors that could be lurking.

Don’t store eggs in the door of your fridge.

Despite how the refrigerator door seems, eggs are best stored on the middle shelf of your fridge, ideally toward the back. But why’s that placement ideal? The temperature of your fridge is the coldest and most consistent in this area, as opposed to the door, which is more prone to temperature fluctuations from being opened regularly. According to FDA, those temperature fluctuations could pose a food-safety risk.

Keep your eggs facing upside-down in the carton.

Most people consider the pointed side of eggs as the top and the larger side as the bottom. However, the next time you get a carton of eggs, look at how they’re oriented — they should be larger side up, pointed side down. That’s because there’s an air bubble inside each egg’s larger side, which helps keep the yolk centered inside the egg and helps your eggs stay fresh longer.

Don’t reuse cartons.

Since eggshells are easily penetrable, bacteria that form on cracked eggshells can easily contaminate the rest of your eggs, making them unhealthy to eat — so never return used or cracked eggs to a carton. According to FDA, you should never reuse an old carton for the same reason.

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