How Long Do Eggs Last?
How long do eggs last in the fridge? To answer the question of how long do eggs last, how long are eggs good for, or the shelf life of eggs, a variety of factors must be examined such as the sell by date and how the eggs have been stored. Another date placed on the egg carton by manufacturers is the “pack date,” which specifies the julian date (numerical day of the year) the eggs were packaged on. So, how long do eggs last in the fridge past their sell by date? When properly stored, the shelf life of eggs is:
|Past Sell By Date|
|Fresh Eggs are good for||3-4 Weeks|
|Egg Substitutes are good for||3-4 Days|
|Egg Whites are good for||2-4 Days|
|Egg Yolks are good for||1-2 Days|
The shelf life of eggs is greatly reduced if the eggs are not kept constantly refrigerated and they may become unsafe to eat. Eggs should always be stored in the fridge right before and after use. But remember, eggs, like a lot of other dairy products, usually have a sell by date and not a use by date. Because of this distinction, you may safely use eggs to compliment your favorite meals even after the sell by date has lapsed but please consume prior to the eat by date.
How to tell if eggs are bad, rotten or spoiled?
A common question is how to tell if eggs are bad? Although not a perfect test, your senses are usually the most reliable instruments to tell if your eggs have gone bad. To tell if eggs are bad, look at the egg white. The freshest eggs have a cloudy white color to the “white” of the egg and as the egg ages the white becomes more of a clear color (the egg is still fresh). Alternatively, if the white of the egg has a pinkish or iridescent color and also if it has a slight rotten smell when cracked, then the egg has gone bad. If you open an egg and smell something rotten, be sure to throw that egg away. There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled eggs including the very dangerous Salmonella and E-Coli strains of bacteria (which cannot be seen), so remember to practice food safety and enjoy your eggs well cooked and prior to the eat by date suggested above.
The Egg Float Test – How to tell if eggs are bad
In determining how long eggs last, many people use the egg float test. Although it is not 100% accurate, it allows you to tell if an egg is bad without cracking the shell. If you wonder if your egg has gone bad, simply submerge it in water to test if the egg has expired. A good egg will sink to the bottom and stay there on its side. An egg that stands with its larger side up is older, but the egg is still good. If the egg floats or hovers, then bacteria has broken down proteins in the egg whites and created gasses, an indication that the egg is probably unsafe to eat. This quick test may result in a false negative, but we believe it is better safe than sorry and any egg that fails this test should be thrown out.
If your eggs have gone bad or fail the egg float test, be sure to check out our egg substitution page.
How to store eggs to extend how long eggs are good for?
Proper food storage is the key to extending how long eggs are good. You can help eggs keep fresh longer by storing eggs in the their original container in the refrigerator. Storing eggs in this fashion will keep out moisture and other contaminants.
Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.
Freezing is not recommended for eggs because after freezing and thawing the eggs will turn into a thick clumpy paste. So, if you want to freeze your eggs to extend their shelf life, it is best to crack the eggs into a freezer safe container and gently blend in 1/2 teaspoon of salt before freezing. The eggs can then be thawed and used, but these eggs will not rise much if later used in baked goods. If you do this, also be sure to thaw the frozen eggs in the refrigerator before using.
What if you have too many eggs about to spoil and go to waste?
If your eggs are nearing their Eat By Date and you’ll soon have bad eggs, try one of these suggestions to extend the shelf life of eggs for another week:
- Make hard boiled eggs. By boiling eggs, it will extend the shelf life of eggs for an additional week. For perfect eggs, see our article on how long to boil eggs?.
- Make a Quiche. Use your eggs to make and bake a quiche that can be micro-waved slice by slice to extend the shelf life of eggs for another 4-5 days.
Interesting facts related to the shelf life of eggs:
- Most people thinks of eggs as a dairy product, but they are actually classified as “animal by-products”.
- The average hen lays about 250 to 270 eggs every year.
- An egg white contains 57% of the total egg protein and none of the cholesterol. All of an egg’s cholesterol is in the egg yolk.
- If you need a substitute for eggs check our page for ideas.
How long are eggs good for when prepared in a dish?
Once prepared, how long do eggs last? Well, that depends, how long does cheese last? In general, eggs last only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the recipe. To determine how long do eggs last in the fridge when prepared with those other ingredients, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date!
What are our shelf life resources?
In answering how long do eggs last in the fridge, our information incorporates research from multiple resources, including the USDA and the US 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 eggs.
*An important note about how long do eggs last…
Although the information on how long do eggs last 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 replace the advice of your health care professional. Please eat responsibly!