Egg Survival

It's important to get tips on how to protect yourself and your family from food-related illnesses. It's sometimes easy to determine when food in your refrigerator has gone bad. All you usually have to do is check for mold, or for a foul odor.

carton of eggs

Question: How long can you keep eggs in the fridge?

Expert answer: We tell consumers to look to the egg carton dates to judge freshness. A couple of bits of info regarding the sell-by date: The USDA says that the date can be no further ahead than 30 days after the packing date. Your store can choose any day within that 30 days to date the eggs.

If you don't find a date on the carton, using the eggs within three weeks of the carton date should allow them to be used within optimum quality. By "optimum quality," we refer to the fact that the yolk will be high and upstanding, and the white will be tall and firm. As the membrane releases from the shell, the whites spread out, so you want to use fresh eggs for poaching and other recipes where shape is important, and save the older eggs for scrambled eggs and recipes that includes eggs.

Question: How can you tell when eggs have gone bad?

Expert answer: Eggs are one of the few animal foods that you can keep in your fridge and still be optimum quality. Eggs are unlikely to go bad in a refrigerator setting, but would dry up over time. Eggs don't automatically go bad or spoil after date.

If the eggs do not already have salmonella, it will not grow in an egg as it sits in your fridge. If it does contain salmonella, the number of bacteria will be quite small because it does not grow in cold environments, like a refrigerator, and with proper handling, cooking, and other food safety measures, the bacteria will be killed.

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Tags: egg basics

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Comments on "How long do eggs stay good in the refrigerator?"

Chris April 04, 2014 | 3:10 PM

as a person who throws food away as soon as the date indicates, eggs are not one of them. you/I can keep eggs for about 2-3 weeks after the "date" on the carton. Did you know USA is one of very few countries that put eggs in the fridge? Going out hunting putting them in a cooler is not an option. Never been sick from food in my life, beside eating to much. lucky? maybe.

JimPHouston February 23, 2014 | 5:23 AM

To GMB earlier this month--not so!! The float test tells if the egg has dried out some (as the article mentions)so an air pocket has formed at the end. DOES NOT MEAN IT IS SPOILED. I have used many such eggs and never found one spoiled. It is smart to use old eggs in non-critical uses and to break them one-at-a-time into a separate dish to confirm that they are good before adding into the mix.

Gmb February 08, 2014 | 10:22 AM

You can tell if a raw egg is bad if it FLOATS. Put it in a pan of water, just tap/room temp water, and if it floats completely off the bottom, it is bad. Many times, if you shake the bad egg, you will hear a very obvious liquid sloshing. DO NOT open such an egg, it will be a liquid greenish black slime that you will never be able to forget the smell.

Lindsay January 18, 2014 | 8:27 AM

I know the feeling of food poisoning. It wasn't eggs but might as well been eggs.. it was chicken from a fast food outfit. And to this day (52 years later I cannot forget. I was miserable. No details. :o) I'm so very careful this made me mad at myself. Message received. Good posts. I enjoy it!

mary January 14, 2014 | 1:47 PM

to see if eggs are fresh enough to eat, drop them in deep water .If they sink to bottom they are good. If they float to top throw them away they are too old.

J.M.SCLAFANI December 30, 2013 | 9:24 AM


Perman September 10, 2013 | 8:31 AM

This article answered all of the questions that the commenters are saying weren't answered. Please read people.

Barbara August 10, 2013 | 12:55 PM

We bought eggs weeks ago from a farm, set them in the fridge and have been using them. Some actually have frozen. We threw away the cracked ones, but are the others still safe to use? We bought the eggs almost a month ago.

Aaron August 08, 2013 | 1:45 PM

Sooooo how long do eggs stay good for in the fridge? This didn't answer anything lol

steve May 15, 2013 | 1:02 PM

Kath, hard boiled eggs don't keep as long as fresh (raw) eggs. Hard boiled should be refrigerated within 2 hours of cooking and tossed after a week, if unpeeled and no cracks in shell. If peeled or cracks in shell, toss after 3-4 days. If you would like to keep your uncooked eggs longer in the fridge, thoroughly coat the shell with a food-grade mineral oil to seal the pores. You can also use warmed beeswax with a little olive oil mixed in as a coating to makes eggs last longer, or a product called KePeg. Lard will also work if surface is entirely covered. Sealing the shell of raw eggs will make them last a very long time in the fridge because it hinders oxidation. You can use this same principle to make your boiled eggs last an extra week or so, but only if the shell has no cracks and is well sealed to prevent air from passing through the shell. For older, uncooked eggs, you can do the water float test to check for staleness (if stays on bottom it's good, if stands on end or bobs slightly it's still okay, if it floats it's stale) and always crack your older eggs into a separate dish in case they've gotten rotten (which will stink like sulfur).

Kath April 18, 2013 | 12:31 PM

I have 6 hard boiled eggs that have been in my fridge for almost a month are they still good ??? I'm getting ready to toss'em b/c my hubby won't eat them b/c he thinks there bad by now!!!

Joy February 13, 2013 | 3:34 PM

Delores, I was raised in the country and that usually meant the rooster got in the hen house.

Dolores December 28, 2012 | 8:55 AM

I was going to fry eggs(egglandbest) and when I cracked it there was blood in it. Never happened before.

Me shells December 20, 2012 | 6:25 PM

When I wanted to know how long eggs say good, the article said if you can't find a date on the carton, the eggs should stay good for 2 to 3 weeks From The Date On The Carton?????

wilma December 20, 2012 | 10:25 AM

back in Old days before refrigeration people left eggs out because chicken lays them with a coating called BLOOM that is natures way of preserving them. Now factories wash that bloom off before they carton them up to go to the stores and that natural coating is gone. Just saying..check it out, it's true.

JamaicanGirl December 20, 2012 | 8:56 AM

Ive had this dozen of eggs in the fridge at my science lab and they havnt spoiled i had it in there 11 months........i havnt eaten it but i cracked it and theyre looking real good

Betty Stewart November 04, 2012 | 4:35 PM

When I was 7 yrs old my parents took me to my grandmothers farm in the country to stay til school started in Sept. Daddy would buy a WHOLE CASE of farm fresh eggs. He was the breakfast cook. They lived on eggs from June 5th until Labor day.They lived many long years.I still have 1 egg in fridge dated April which I plan to scramble tomorrow. I used 8 of them last weekend for egg salad and I'm still around at the age of 83.

juju November 03, 2012 | 12:37 PM

I ve had eggs in my frig for maybe a year and have eatten them. As long as they smell ok then they sould be fine. I you have one of the egg containers in your frig and put them in there and buy new ones how are you supposed to remember which is which? So I just smell them first then cook. But now I am wondering about cooked or hard boilded eggs? I had some in the frig for a few weeks and I just thru them out. I didn't ck them cuz it was garbage day and was cleaning out the frig. So if anyone knows about that let me know. Thanks!

Goodcooks satiate November 02, 2012 | 12:58 PM

Couldn't remember the sink or swim theory on eggs. Opposite of theory: float: AWAY. Sinkers are not Stinkers. Thanks - I will remember this now!

Babs October 28, 2012 | 10:00 AM

My Mom told me at a young age to check expiration date on eggs. If more than 2 weeks past date, crack each egg open individually in a cup and smell it. If it smells like an egg (yes eggs DO have a very slight musty smell) then it's safe to cook. If it doesn't smell like an egg (rotten...yucky) then throw it away. Many years later, as an adult, I had a dozen eggs a month past the expiration date. I did as my Mom had told me and one egg was obviously very bad, the rest were ok. That was the first and last time I had ever found a bad egg after the expiration date. As a Senior Citizen, I still practice that advice to this day.

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