How Long Does Egg Nog Last?
Shelf Life of Egg Nog
How long does egg nog last? The shelf life of egg nog is influenced by a variety of factors, such as the processing method and carton date, exposure to light and heat, and how the egg nog is stored. Egg Nog is a very rich dairy product made with eggs, milk, sugar and cream (and usually alcohol in the homemade varieties). And it is almost always garnish with grated or ground nutmeg. Most common are the regular and reduced fat varieties, but best tasting is a rich frothy homemade recipe. We have never seen a non-fat egg nog, there probably is one but it just doesn’t make sense because if you stripped all the fat there wouldn’t be much left! Although it does contain calcium and vitamin D, egg nog is not usually consumed for it’s health benefits but rather for it’s rich and intense flavor indulgence enjoyed mostly during the holidays. In fact, most grocery stores only carry the product during the season from Thanksgiving until New Years. So, how long does egg nog last?
When properly stored at or below 40° F, containers of egg nog last for the time periods indicated in the table below:
|Canned Egg Nog lasts for
|Egg Nog lasts for
|Homemade Egg Nog lasts for
|Reduced Fat Egg Nog lasts for
|All Egg Nogs last for
Of course, all types of egg nog last for a shorter period of time if they are not stored properly. But remember, egg nog, like a lot of other dairy products, usually has a sell by date which is simply the last date the product should remain on the store shelf. Because of this distinction, you may safely use it to compliment your favorite meals even after its sell by date has lapsed.
How to tell if egg nog is bad, rotten or spoiled?
Practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help prevent food borne illness. Although not a perfect test, your senses are usually the most reliable instruments to tell if your egg nog has gone bad. Some common traits of bad egg nog are discoloration (which you will have to have noted your original egg nog color to begin with because it can range from very white to beige to very yellow in color), a lumpy texture and a very distinctive sour smell (which you will notice when removing the lid) which occurs from lactic acid producing bacteria.
There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled food and drink, so always remember to practice proper food safety and enjoy it prior to its expiration.
If your egg nog has gone bad, check our substitution page.
How to store egg nog to extend its shelf life?
Proper food storage is the key to extending the shelf life of egg nog. You can help egg nog keep fresh longer by keeping it away from light and by placing it in the back in your refrigerator immediately after use. Store egg nog on an interior refrigerator shelf rather than in the door, where the temperature fluctuates with frequent opening. In addition, opened egg nog should be stored tightly in its original closed container as the containers were specifically designed for this purpose.
Freezing is not recommended for egg nog, the freezing process destabilizes the structure and once thawed the texture and consistency of the product is altered (formation of small clumps that will never stir in). If you must freeze your egg nog, you can safely do so for 3 months beyond the sell by date – that is if you don’t mind the changed consistency.
Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.
Interesting facts about the shelf life of egg nog:
Most egg nog is made with raw eggs, which pose a salmonella threat. So, when making egg nog always use the freshest eggs and be sure to carefully clean the egg shells before use.
One cup of egg nog contains about 342 calories and 167 of those are from fat.
Although you may be able to find egg nog at your specialty store year around, it is generally only carried in stores from just before Thanksgiving until just after New Years.
The ingredients in egg nog remain fairly consistent (eggs, cream, milk, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg) but the alcohol, if added, usually varies by country. In the United States bourbon is the most common additive while in Europe white wine is the most common addition.
How long is egg nog good for when prepared in a dish?
That depends. How long do eggs last? In general, food and drink only lasts as long as the quickest expiring ingredient that they are mixed with. To find out how long those other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or search below!
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What are our shelf life resources?
Our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scour the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of egg nog.
*An important note about expiration dates …
Although the egg nog shelf life information provided by Eat By Date is generally reliable, it is not intended to substitute for the advice of your qualified health care provider. Please drink responsibly!