How Long Are Eggs Good For?
When you buy eggs, do you often place them in the fridge and forget about them? While people often have a misconception that eggs will last forever when kept in the refrigerator, this isn’t true. You need to know how long eggs typically last and when it’s best to use them or dispose of them to avoid getting sick. Besides learning how long they tend to last, it’s also helpful to know how to store them properly to keep them fresh for as long as you can.
I’ve heard that checking whether an egg sinks or floats is a common way to determine how fresh it is. However, it can’t tell you if an egg has gone bad. When in doubt, throw it out.
In case you missed this post, What You Need to Know About Farm Fresh Eggs
How Long Do They Last?
If you put your eggs in the fridge after buying them at the grocery store, they’ll stay fresh for a minimum of three weeks and a maximum of five weeks. After five weeks, they’re no longer as fresh, and the quality starts going down. The eggs will no longer taste nearly as good as they would if consumed before that five-week period ended.
It’s not always easy to tell if your eggs are old, especially if you’ve removed them from the carton and don’t remember when you bought them. Eggs won’t always give off a foul odor because they’ve gone bad, so you’ll need to keep that in mind.
What Does the Sell By Date Mean on the Cartons?
Check out any carton of eggs, and you’ll see that it has a sell-by date on it. The sell-by date is important, but it doesn’t mean that your eggs are no longer good if it’s already past that specific date. It’s a date that the store uses to determine when they need to sell them to the customers. When you’re at the grocery store looking for eggs, choose one with a later sell-by date because they’re likely fresher. Your eggs will continue to stay fresh for five weeks after that date.
Is It Safe to Eat Old Eggs?
Some people eat old eggs, and nothing happens to them. However, it depends on how old those eggs are before you prepare them. It’s best not to take chances. If you do eat old eggs, you may notice that the flavor isn’t as good as when you had them for only a few days or weeks. While it’s still possible to eat them, it’s always best to get rid of old eggs if you’re having doubts about whether they’re still good to eat or not.
Why Is It Bad to Eat Expired Eggs?
Eating expired eggs isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does come with risks. If you’re eating eggs whose date expired months prior to preparing them, the eggs could upset your stomach. You may end up spending the rest of the day in the bathroom because those expired eggs didn’t agree with you. If you don’t want that to happen, make sure you’re always eating the freshest eggs you can!
What Can I Do With Old Eggs?
You don’t have to throw your old eggs out. Instead of tossing them in the trash, you can find other ways to make use of them. For example, you can prepare a homemade tightening mask using egg whites. You apply it to your face after washing it with your favorite cleanser, leave it on for about 15-20 minutes, and then rinse it off. It instantly makes the face feel tighter and look more youthful.
You might also want to consider making a hair mask with your old eggs, or using them to do different experiments with the kids. It’s better to find a way to use them that doesn’t involve eating them after they’ve gone bad.
Wash your eggs with cold water, pat them dry, and then place them in an egg carton with a lid that you can put in your refrigerator. It’s better to remove them from the traditional carton and use a plastic, reusable carton to keep the fridge organized and keep the eggs from getting cracked. Always make sure you’re putting the eggs in the refrigerator, or else they’ll start to go bad at a faster pace.
Can You Leave them at Room Temperature?
No, it’s not a good idea to leave the eggs at room temperature. They need to be preserved in colder temperatures to stay fresh. If you accidentally leave your carton of eggs on the kitchen table overnight, consider using them in different ways that don’t involve eating them because they’re no longer fresh or good to eat.
Is It Possible to Freeze Them?
You can freeze eggs to keep them fresh for more extended periods. When placed in the freezer, you can expect the eggs to stay fresh for up to 12 months! It’s a great way to make sure your eggs don’t go to waste. You can remove a few from the freezer at a time and allow them to thaw in the fridge before you use them in meals at breakfast, or add them to any recipes that you’re preparing. In case you missed this post, How to Freeze Eggs: Everything You Need to Know
Should I Use a Special Container for them?
While it’s not too important, having a particular container for the eggs is ideal. Not only does it look better in your fridge, but it’s a great way to prevent the eggs from getting cracked when you’re storing them around other refrigerated items. You can easily find plastic egg holders on Amazon or in stores, such as Walmart and Target. Many people prefer the way these reusable containers look compared to cardboard or foam egg containers. Stackable Egg Holder
It’s always good to have eggs at home, but you need to know how long they last and when it’s time to no longer eat them because they’re too old. Always check the sell-by date before you buy eggs from the grocery store to get an idea of how long your eggs will last.
Keep them refrigerated to stay fresh, or put them in the freezer to keep your eggs fresher even longer than five weeks. If you take the proper steps when getting eggs and saving them, you won’t have to worry about eating old eggs ever again. If you have some other ideas about egg storage and usage please pass them on so my other readers can benefit. May God Bless this world, Linda.
26 thoughts on “How Long Are Eggs Good For?”
Good to know. Thank you, Linda! You are awesome!
HI Deborah, thank you, my friend! Linda
Everything you’ve written is for store bought eggs and is true. For fresh it’s different. Don’t wash the eggs and just leave them on the counter.
We’ve successfully freeze dried eggs which are great for cooking.
If you’ve got access to FRESH eggs only try this method
I’ve stored them this way for 3 months. It gets me through molt. You use them just like normal after removing them from the liquid. I store mine in the storm shelter.
Hi Matt, I have heard that about fresh eggs. I have never had chickens, so it’s hard for me to write about storing fresh eggs. I will watch that YouTube, thanks, Matt! Oh my gosh, you have freeze-dried eggs, this is awesome! Linda
I just completed a 9 month test on some I did. The yolks seem a little weak but other than that good to go. That’s about as far as I’d wanna do it. I stored them in a dark cool closet with canned goods.
Hi Matt, that’s awesome! Yeah, I’m with you 9 months is long enough!!! Linda
I agree with Matt, if you have fresh eggs rather than store-bought, don’t wash them. They will last longer.
When we have eggs that have been around for a while, we place them in a container of tap water. If they float, they are bad. if they stand up but do not float, time to use those now. If they lie in the bottom of the container they will be good for at least a week. Using this method, we have never had a problem other than feeling bad about wasting the floaters. LOL!!!
Hi Harry, oh my gosh, I forgot you had chickens! Or maybe I didn’t know you had chickens! Our city, not just the HOA has rules for chickens. Thanks for the heads up, my friend! Linda
Unwashed fresh eggs dipped in mineral oil will go 6 months on the counter….
We don’t have chickens, but we get ours most of the time from some people nearby who do. Those guidelines for checking viability of eggs were passed on to me about 50 years ago by my parents. When I was a kid on the farm, my parents had numerous laying hens that were part of our income.
Hi Harry, oh gotcha! I’m sure you learned a lot on the family farm! I remember hearing people say, if that kid worked on a farm, he or she is hired! I’ve never forgotten those words. You learned how to work BIG TIME! Linda
We have chickens, and I’ve learned a lot. I wouldn’t throw store bought eggs out after only 1 night on the counter. Eggs are tougher than that. We store eggs in the refrigerator. Sometimes a day goes by before the eggs are picked up. It’s ok. Try to find eggs from chickens allowed to run around the yard. Consider raising 3 or more. Even Minneapolis and St Paul allow backyard chickens. You may be surprised!
Hi Brenda, I checked, it’s not just the HOA that doesn’t allow them. It’s our city and country rules as well. Our lot is too small in their opinion! Linda
Agreed. We receive about 30 eggs a day from the girls. I do not wash them everyday. I’ve left them on the counter for 3-4 days and they’re fine. If I suspect a bad egg or I think they’ve sat out to long I cook them up and feed to the dogs. They eat armadillos for goodness sake. Also, ask yourself how did stores sell eggs before refrigeration? Correct, stacked up on a table or in an aisle. Crack it and if it looks bad grab another.
Hi 101st Airborne, wow 30 eggs a day! That is awesome! Great tips, thank you! Linda
In the heart of spring we were getting about 5 dozen chicken eggs a day (in addition to turkey, quail and duck eggs), but we’re having problems with a sly fox whose gotten 10 of our chickens. We sell them from our drive way and hatch/sell some. We’ve adopted a 7 day rotation and on day 7, the remaining eggs get fed to our pigs, shells and all. They love them and get a protein and calcium benefit all in one.
Hi Jerilea, oh my gosh, this is wonderful! That is a lot of eggs!! That’s sad about your chickens, yikes! That darn fox! Thank you for sharing your story, people need to hear how wonderful it is to have eggs to sell! It’s another source of income and the people buying them are thrilled to have fresh eggs! Linda
When I had chickens, some constantly would lay eggs wherever they felt like, including just loose in the grass. When we’d find one, my kids knew to just put it in a pan of cold water, see if it’d float. Lol, one summer they ‘saved’ quite a few of these floaters…then they had an egg throwing contest in my back field with their friends. They stuck a board in the dirt as their target. Gawd how they’d laugh when they’d hit the board, and most times it would stink to high heaven. Some eggs were so bad they wouldn’t break just hitting the ground. So, they collected, threw again. I had to close my patio door as the rotten egg smell traveled! The boys thought this was great fun. Eggs gotta get pretty warm before they spoil. We didn’t wash ours until right before using. Often lasted 6mos or more in the frig..
When eggs get close to their expiration dates, will boiling them help them to stay fresh longer?
Hi Margaret, I would make scrambled eggs, fried eggs, or hard-boiled eggs with the excess eggs. Boiling them would not extend their life. Linda
Another here with chickens and fresh eggs! The old-timers had storage methods to see them through low-egg periods (molt and winter)–I’ve read about storing them packed in powdered lime, in lime water, and most usually in “water-glass” (which is sold as a sealer for cement floors!)
Unwashed eggs last *way* better due to the natural coating–that’s removed in washing for commercial packaging, so store eggs *don’t last as long. Another interesting point–besides the “use by” date on store egg cartons, look for a 3-digit number between 001 and 365. It corresponds to the date the eggs were laid, then processed and packed. Those store eggs are often older than you think–which is why fresh eggs from your own (or a neighbor’s) chickens seem to last longer.
Peculiar little note–eggs that have been refrigerated really *should* stay refrigerated (although the night on the counter probably won’t make too much difference)–it’s something to do with how the change in temperature causes the egg to “pull” air in through the pores of the shell (that same air pocket that you find at the large end of the egg, that eventually makes it stand up or even float). Although I don’t use it much, I have a cute old-fashioned item called an egg skelter–it’s a spiraling “track” that lets the eggs gently roll to the bottom. Freshest eggs are put in at the top, and you take the older eggs out at the bottom and use first!
I loved someone’s story about the stinky egg tossing game! Mine usually don’t get that far, but a “floater” or a cracked egg I’ll boil hard, then crush up (shell and all) and give back to the hens, or dog, or even wild birds.
There’s an expression about something–or one’s day–being a Curate’s Egg sort of day… Story is about a shy young curate who was invited to have breakfast with the Bishop, and was feeling a bit overawed by the honor. When the curate had almost finished his boiled egg (eaten from the shell in a proper egg cup, of course!) the Bishop noticed, and apologized, “Oh, dear, I’m afraid you had a bad egg…” To which the curate replied, “Oh, no, your Grace, parts of it were very good…”
Hi Rhonda, now I’m going to go look at my egg cartons for the 001 and 365!!! Great comment, we all learn from one another!! The Bishop and Curate story is the best! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Linda
Just one more comment on nutrition in eggs. As some of you may have guessed by now, I am a Certified Natural Health Professional, which means I am NOT a doctor(!), but I do know a bit more than the average person walking down the street…. So, choline…CHOLINE is extremely important for your diet! It not only supports brain function, but it also helps to keep your liver healthy!! I found out something that NO ONE had ever mentioned in any of my health classes, and boy was I ANGRY!! IF you don’t eat some sort of decent source of choline in your diet and you use antihistamines, then you can automatically get non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). IF only someone had taught me that back when I was still studying natural medicine! I do use antihistamines for allergies at times, and my family does not eat eggs, so I just stopped bothering to buy them and eat them. It never occurred to me that not eating eggs and taking antihistamines could damage my liver! YIKES! Just a heads up for all of you nutrition-oriented prepping friends! Don’t make the same mistake I did!! Oh, then we started all taking Solgar Choline Supplements but they are made in SOY OIL, which is heavily contaminated. NOW we have switched to the Sunflower Oil choline supplement by NOW brand and are doing better!
Oh, yeah, when I was studying at the NorthEast Institute of Botanical Medicine a few years back, someone asked Dr. Moore what was the most valuable food to have in emergencies or for stockpiling. Can you guess what he said? PRUNES!! They contain a myriad of vitamins and minerals, let alone the fiber! And, yes, mineral deficiencies are more important to address than anything else, when you are in crisis. Even just the stress can “use up” the stores of Magnesium in your body really fast! (Let alone the B vitamins.)
Hi Joyce, oh my gosh this is interesting! When I was growing up as a child we always had prunes. I almost forgot about them. Love this!! Linda
Hi Joyce, wow, I have never heard that either. Great comment!! I learn something new every single day. Linda