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egg-citing question....

rick stoehrer

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ha! why, yes...i am a a geek.

riddle me this....i want to take eggs camping...sans refrigeration. am i risking salmonella and other dread things? that's my instinct...well, okay, it's janis's instinct and you know what they say...if you can't be smart, marry smart.

despite this though i almost surely remember that someone on one of the many trips i've been on (and escaped all cooking - oh yeah, it's a gift) prescrambled eggs, put them in a nalgene for a day or two and i think i even remember eating them and not suffering any ill effects...but what the hell, i have an active imagination and despite having such a very large head, my memory and imagination are stored uncomfortably close up there.

so what say yea? anyone with any experience with the whole what came first the camping eggs or dyspepsia thing? and no pressure but you know...peoples LIVES ARE AT STAKE!!


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I can NOT answer your question with any authority or expertise,

but I can relate a story from which you can surmise what you will and your stomach can verify or deny the accuracy. (misleading enough??)

I visited my friend's grandfather's chicken (and eggs) farm in Maine about 25+ years ago. There was a huge non-airconditioned barn with row upon row of cages full of chickens laying eggs. Next to the barn door was a 3 foot tall stack of boxes of eggs. I asked about them and was told that 'the truck' was coming in a few days to pick them up. How long they were sitting there I don't know.

Was that the proper way to handle eggs? Have practices changed since then? Don't know, but I didn't get sick eating eggs at the farm.

Good Cluck,


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Stay calm.

Eggs in uncracked (emphasis on the "un") shells do just fine unrefridgerated for a few days. When Dee and Karen and I were in Maine for a week, we had a dozen and a half with us. One broke so we tossed it. The others went in fabulous omelets, except the last three which we hard boiled.

I would prefer to carry the whole eggs, but have heard of people leaving the shells at home and taking the eggs in a Nalgene jar. That sounds more risky to me, even if the jar is really clean and the weather cool.

I can loan you a 6 egg container if you like.

Liz N.

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Eggs can be stored at room temperature for weeks without risk of salmonella, although of course they may go bad. To avoid the dreaded s-bacteria, simply make sure the eggs are cooked throughly and heated through to 160 degrees. Obviously Liz is correct that anything cracked should be disposed of immediately.

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This is more work, and now I would probably bring them whole, but...

We have cracked them, wisked them up, and frozen them. Then we store them in a soft cooler full of a bunch of other frozen stuff. Usually, we find ourselves thawing stuff out two days later.


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From a friend who raises his own eggs. Doesn't say anything about pre-scrambled eggs but says you can keep them in the shell for what amounts to an indefinite period from a typical camping perspective.

The first thing to remember is that fertile eggs do just fine spending three weeks at about 100 degrees under a hen. An egg is sterile unless the shell is cracked and the underlying membrane is breached. However, the quality of an egg can deteriorate rapidly if you leave it out in the heat. This is due to structural and pH changes related to water loss and gas exchange. When you break a fresh egg onto a plate, the yolk and albumin stand right up. As it ages, the albumin thins and the yolk flattens. A really old egg looks like a disgusting puddle. Eggs like that get used in commercial bakeries.

I have read references to oiling eggs to make them keep longer.

I have also read a rule of thumb that a day left out is equivalent to a week in the refrigerator. I think that it would have to be a pretty hot day for that to be true. My personal experience is that if it's August and you don't collect the eggs for a week, you'll get some very old-looking eggs.

They're fine when you don't collect them for two or three days.

In many parts of the world it is not customary to refrigrate eggs, either in the market or at home (though people may also shop more frequently in other parts of the world). It's certainly easier to bake with room-temperature eggs.

Web quote:

Properly refrigerated eggs stored in their carton in a home refrigerator will change from AA-grade to A-grade in about 1 week and from A-grade to B-grade in about 5 weeks. However, a properly handled and refrigerated intact egg will retain its nutritional value and wholesomeness for a considerably longer time.

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hey I actually got salmonella while travelling this summer and it didn't stop me from kayaking...lol

we used to keep flats of eggs on the shelf when I worked in a diner. I'd guess some of them didn't rotate to the top for a week. I've backpacked with frozen beaten eggs numerous times.


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wax is exactly right -- long-distance sailors have been doing this for aeons. francis chichester (he became sir francis chichester after his return) discussed this in his book about sailing alone around the world in gypsy moth IV. he made only one stop (in sydney) for supplies and took nine months doing it (1966/67).

captain joshua slocum was of course the very first to complete a single-handed circumnavigation (i expect you all knew this already?); but he took his time (two or three years, i seem to remember), whereas chichester was racing the clock. the former arrived home in new england in 1898.

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