Shivi Ramoutar reveals how to tell if eggs have gone off
Eggs are not only healthy but can be enjoyed at any time of the day as a snack or in a protein-rich meal.
But while they are easy to cook with, eggs can quickly go off if stored incorrectly.
Of course, keeping them in the fridge is a no-brainer after boiling the whites and yolks, but a food expert has urged people to follow a simple method to keep them fresher for longer.
University professor and food preservation expert, Tracey Brigman, explained that it starts from the minute the eggs stop cooking.
She said: “When hot items are placed in the refrigerator, they can warm up other surrounding items, placing them in the temperature danger zone where bacteria like to multiply.”
The first step to preserving cooked eggs is therefore to cool them down as quickly as possible.
And according to the food expert, it’s easily done with a bowl of cold water or an ice bath.
Tracey recommended placing the whole, cooked eggs into the chilled bowl for just a few minutes to “expedite the cooling process”.
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It’s generally best to keep the shell intact after the eggs have cooled as this too can affect the level of bacteria present.
But to make them last even longer in the fridge, the food storage professional suggested taking an extra step.
This involves placing them in an airtight container or resealable bag which can be positioned in the middle shelf of the appliance where the temperature is most stable.
Tracey explained that this is because the protective layer that coats the shell is removed during the cooking process, making the eggs more susceptible to air and harmful microorganisms.
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Keeping the eggs sealed is effective because it prevents odours and bacteria from “disrupting” them.
And it’s even more important when the eggs have been peeled, leaving the whites exposed to anything present in the fridge.
Hard-boiled eggs that have been removed from their shell should also be stored in an airtight bag or container to ensure they stay fresh.
For maximum longevity, Tracey suggested adding a damp paper towel into the mix too. This should be placed at the bottom of the container to prevent the cooked whites from drying out – which is naturally done when the shell is intact.
While hard-boiled eggs will keep for up to one week in the fridge, whether peeled or not, some will last even longer.
Those purchased pre-cooked and pre-packaged may stay fresh for a few extra days, though the food expert noted that it’s important to always follow the expiration date rather than the one-week shelf-life rule.
She added: “If it develops a slimy or chalky texture, or if it develops an unmistakable odour, it should be discarded”
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