How Long Does Egg Nog Last?

How long does eggnog last? Eggnog will last for 7 days beyond its "best by" date, if stored properly. The shelf life of eggnog is influenced by a variety of factors, such as the processing method and carton date, exposure to light and heat, and how the eggnog is stored.

Eggnog 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 garnished 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 eggnog, 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, eggnog is not usually consumed for it's health benefits but rather for its 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 eggnog last? When properly stored at or below 40°F, containers of eggnog last for the time periods indicated in the table below:

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Egg Nog Expiration Date

(Unopened) Refrigerator
Canned Eggnog lasts for 4-5 Months
Eggnog lasts for 5-7 Days
Homemade Eggnog lasts for 2-3 Days
Reduced Fat Eggnog lasts for 5-7 Days
(Opened) Refrigerator
All Eggnogs last for 5 Days

Of course, all types of eggnog 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 foodborne illness.

Although not a perfect test, your senses are usually the most reliable instruments to tell if your eggnog has gone bad. Some common traits of bad eggnog are discoloration (which you will have to have noted your original eggnog 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 upon removing the lid or opening the carton). These changes occur from lactic acid producing bacteria.

There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled foods so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your foods before their shelf life has expired!

How to store Egg Nog to extend its shelf life?

You can help eggnog keep fresh longer by keeping it away from light and by placing it in the back of your refrigerator immediately after use. Store eggnog on an interior refrigerator shelf rather than in the door, where the temperature fluctuates with frequent opening. In addition, opened eggnog should be stored tightly in its original closed container as the containers were specifically designed for this purpose.

Freezing is not recommended for eggnog, 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 eggnog, 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 Egg Nog:

  • Most eggnog is made with raw eggs, which pose a salmonella threat. So, when making eggnog always use the freshest eggs and be sure to carefully clean the egg shells before use.
  • One cup of eggnog contains about 342 calories and 167 of those are from fat.
  • Although you may be able to find eggnog 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 eggnog 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?

    How long does egg nog last? That depends. How long does alcohol last? In general, egg nog lasts only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient with which it is mixed.

    What are our shelf life resources?

    In determining how long Egg Nog lasts, our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured 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 on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion and not a replacement for your health care professional. Please eat responsibly!

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    With oven-safe glass and water-tight lids, these food storage containers are ready for action! Not a Prime Member? Try a 30-day free trial today!


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