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How long do eggs stay good in the refrigerator?

Karen Miner is the Food & Home Editor for SheKnows. She is a freelance writer, recipe developer and is also the cook, author and photographer behind the food blog, Tasty Trials, a collection of original recipes and stories. She and her h...

Tips to determine the freshness of eggs

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. But eggs can be a little harder to determine freshness.

How long can you keep eggs in the fridge?

Expert answer: We tell consumers to look to the egg carton sell-by dates to judge freshness. 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, meaning the yolk will be high and upstanding, and the white will be tall and firm.

According to, raw eggs in the shell can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 weeks. Freezing in the shell is not recommended. Instead, beat the eggs and freeze out of the shell.

How can you tell when eggs have gone bad?

Expert answer: 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 and cooking, the bacteria will be killed.

An easy way to test the freshness of an egg is to place it in a bowl of water. A fresh egg will sink and an older egg will float.

More: Do we really need to refrigerate our eggs?

Tip on cooking eggs

Use fresh eggs for poaching and other recipes where shape is important, and save the older eggs for scrambled eggs and recipes that include eggs.

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