Do Eggs Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on July 7th, 2022

Because of their variety and excellent health benefits, eggs are one of the most popular food products.

Eggs are not only a delicious component of most meals but also frequently used in baking.

shallow focus photography of brown eggs

Having eggs on hand always appears to be the greatest strategy, but it begs whether eggs go bad.

Is there a difference in the shelf life of white and brown eggs?

No. The color of the egg is determined solely by the breed of chicken. The nutritional value and consistency of the eggs are practically comparable. Blue eggs are laid by some chickens. However, they don’t stay long.

Do Eggs Ever Go Bad?

Yes, eggs can spoil, and consuming eggs past their prime puts you at risk of contracting various food-borne illnesses.

However, thousands of healthy eggs are thrown away each year because consumers are unsure whether the eggs are still safe to eat.

This is unfortunate since it is always disheartening to see delicious food go to waste.

As a result, we must be aware that eggs can spoil and check to see if our eggs are still safe to eat.

Knowing these elements will keep you from becoming sick from rotten eggs and wasting your good eggs.

What Is the Shelf Life of Eggs?

Fresh eggs can be stored in their cartons for up to 66 days after they were placed in them.

That is frequently several days after the best date marked on the cartons. Therefore, you should keep your eggs in the refrigerator to preserve their quality for as long as possible.

If you buy fresh whole eggs, you can use them for more than two months if you store them properly in the fridge.

If you are vegan and prefer to buy alternative egg items, it is best if you use them within four days.

If you broke your eggs and want to store or buy your egg whites and yolks separately, you will have considerably less time to enjoy them than if you used whole eggs.

Egg whites should be used within four days and yolks within two days.

Eggs in shellsUse-by + 3-5 days or 3 – 5 weeks
Raw eggs2 – 4 days
Egg whites2 – 4 days
Egg yolks2 – 4 days
Hard-boiled eggs (unpeeled)1 week
Hard-boiled eggs (peeled)2 – 3 days
Egg-based dishes3 – 5 days

Raw eggs

After purchasing, raw eggs in their shells can be stored for about a month (3-6 weeks on average).

Always keep them in the refrigerator. It is recommended that they be stored in the main body of the refrigerator rather than in the molded egg rack in the door, where the temperature changes. Keep the eggs in their original carton.

Raw eggs from the shell should be stored in a closed container in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 days.

You can freeze the eggs if you need to store them for an extended period. To do so, remove the eggs from their shells (never freeze eggs in shells) and pierce the yolks.

If you intend to use the eggs in the main dish, add half a teaspoon of salt per 1 cup of eggs. If you wish to use those eggs for baking, add 1 tablespoon of sugar per 1 cup of eggs. Place in a freezer bag or an airtight container (allow little head space) and freeze for up to a year.

There is a way to determine whether a raw egg is still edible. Fill a bowl halfway with cold water, then place the egg within. It’s fine if it sinks to the bottom. If it’s near the bottom but still sitting on its tip, it suggests it’s still good but won’t be for long. If it floats, throw it away; it’s awful.

Eggs hard-boiled

Hard-boiled eggs should be stored in the refrigerator, possibly with their shells still attached. They are just OK for approximately a week. However, if you intend to consume hard-boiled eggs within a day or two, you can keep them on the counter at room temperature.

Because hard-boiled egg whites do not freeze well, whole hard-boiled eggs should not be frozen. However, hard-boiled egg yolks can be frozen if desired. You place them in a freezer bag, push out as much air as possible, and seal the bag.

It is recommended that those yolks be consumed within a couple of months for maximum quality – the longer they are frozen, the worse their taste will be.

Egg whites (fresh)

They should be kept in the refrigerator and last for 2 to 4 days, occasionally up to a week. Egg whites can be frozen and kept in the freezer for up to a year.

Freezing egg whites is simple: place them in an airtight freezer container or freezer bag, leaving some headspace, and place them in the freezer.

Egg yolks (fresh)

Like fresh egg whites, fresh egg yolks should be refrigerated and kept for 2 to 4 days. After that, you can freeze them to keep them fresh for a longer period (even a year).

To do so, combine one teaspoon of salt per cup of egg yolks (if used in main meals) or one tablespoon of sugar (for baking), then place the mixture in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze.

How Long Can You Keep Eggs After They’ve Been Opened?

The float test is useful, but knowing a general time frame is also useful. For example, eggs can be kept fresh for three to five weeks after purchase. That is a large window!

How to Tell If Your Eggs Have Turned Bad

Knowing how to determine if your eggs are bad is an excellent skill because, while you don’t want to waste good eggs, you also don’t want to expose yourself and your loved ones to eggs that are past their prime.

If you detect a rotten egg, wipe any surfaces and utensils it comes into touch with. Here are a few pointers to help you determine if your eggs have passed their best before date:

Examine the Pack Date.

Because eggs can last much longer than the expiration date displayed on the carton, it’s best to double-check the pack date. The pack date of eggs refers to the date that the eggs were gathered, washed, and packed for distribution.

As a result, the 66-day freshness criterion should be applied to the packaging date rather than the expiration date.

On the other hand, the pack date can be perplexing because it is not printed in a conventional date format but a Julian date format.

This means that the pack date is represented by its chronological number in the year so that January 1st would be 001 and December 31st would be 365.

So, if you bought a carton of eggs with a pack date of 95, you may either count the days or utilize a website to get the precise packaging date, which is April 5th.

Smell Your Eggs.

Fresh eggs do not have an unpleasant odor, but eggs that have gone rotten have a distinct terrible stench, either raw or cooked. As a result, if you’re unsure whether your eggs are still safe to eat, give them a sniff after cracking them open.

Perform a float test.

Fresh eggs sink to the bottom of the glass, while eggs that have gone bad float on top. So, if you’re unsure if your eggs are still fresh, pour a large glass of water over them and test them.

Take a look at the eggshell and egg.

Bacteria will be found on the shell and in the yolk of an egg exposed to bacteria.

If an eggshell becomes slimy, discolored, or cracked, it is better to avoid eating the egg since it may contain hazardous bacteria.

You’re used to seeing a golden yolk and a white egg. However, there are color variations that are safe and some that are not:

  • A red spot on the yolk, often known as a blood spot, occurs when a chicken ovulates, creating the yolk—a blood vessel around the yolk bursts causing a crimson patch. Eggs with a red spot are safe to eat.
  • Cloudy egg white – Cloudiness indicates that your egg is very fresh. When the egg is laid, high amounts of carbon dioxide produce cloudiness. The cloudiness dissipates with time. These eggs are safe to consume.
  • White strings in the egg white – sometimes known as chalazae. It maintains the egg yolk on the egg white in place. White strings are more visible indicators that you have a very fresh egg. It is not necessary to remove the white strings before cooking.
  • Brighter or darker yolk – The color of the egg yolk a hen lays is affected by what she eats. The yolk of hens fed wheat and barley is paler. The yolk of a hen fed green plants and maize is darker. Wheat and barley-fed hens lay eggs with lighter-colored yolks. Green plants, corn, and alfalfa given to hens result in eggs with darker yolks. The color of the yolk does not indicate freshness or the mother hen’s health.
  • The green ring around cooked yolk — If you hard-boil an egg in its shell, the yolk may turn green due to overcooking. Heat causes the sulfur and iron in the yolk to react, turning it somewhat green. However, the eggs are still edible. Egg white that isn’t white – If the egg white isn’t clear or cloudy white, it’s probably spoiled. If your egg white appears green or iridescent, it may contain hazardous bacteria. It’s possible that it’s not safe to eat. If you notice that the color of your egg is odd, smell it. It’s usually a good idea to err on the side of caution and discard any eggs that may be contaminated.

The Dangers of Eating Expired Eggs

Consuming a rotten egg, on the other hand, may pose serious health hazards. Contamination with E-Coli strains of bacteria or Salmonella is one of these dangers.


Salmonella can be found in both excellent and poor eggs. Heat, on the other hand, kills Salmonella in eggs. However, as eggs deteriorate, they acquire additional types of bacteria, such as E. Coli, which can cause severe disease.

If an egg is contaminated, sickness symptoms emerge within six to 48 hours and may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain and cramps
  • Fever‌
  • Vomiting

Symptoms usually appear between six and 48 hours after eating a tainted egg and can last between four and seven days. Most of the time, the symptoms go away on their own.

What to Do With Fresh Eggs When They Arrive

You won’t need to wash your eggs if you keep your coop tidy and clean so that the eggs are free of mud and grime when you gather them. Also, it is best not to wash eggs unless they are unclean.

If you must wash the eggs, rinse them in lukewarm water and carefully clean them clear of dirt or excrement using unscented soap if necessary.

Whether you get your eggs from a farmers’ market or from a friend or family member who has a healthy backyard flock, you should keep them in the refrigerator to ensure optimal freshness and quality.

On the other hand, farm-fresh eggs are often unwashed, so their bloom or cuticle – an invisible coating that shields the egg from oxygen and bacteria – protects them. As a result, they can be safely stored on the counter at ambient temperature.

How To Store Eggs

The procedure of storing eggs is simple. The refrigerator is the greatest environment for your eggs since the coldness of the fridge allows the eggs to retain their quality for a longer period.

Keeping your eggs in the pantry is not a good idea, especially if you live in a humid or hot climate. It’s also not a good idea to freeze your eggs. Here are two techniques to help you keep your eggs as fresh as possible:

First, refrigerate your eggs in a secure container.

There is a risk of bacteria contamination if your eggs crack or become damaged, so you must keep them so that they do not crack or break easily.

Most cartons are well-designed to keep eggs safe, but if you prefer not to store your eggs in their original carton, select a container that will.

Most refrigerators include an egg tray, ideal for storing eggs since it holds them properly in position without allowing them to touch.

If you do not want to use the egg carton and your fridge does not have an egg tray, you must use a container to keep the eggs from being squished by other food in your fridge.

Avoid stacking them on top of one another.

If you are not storing them in the original carton or an egg tray, you may be tempted to stack them in a plastic container on top of each other.

However, this is not an ideal strategy because if one of the eggs becomes contaminated with bacteria, it will immediately spread to all of the eggs with which it has come into touch.

Furthermore, you may lose all of your eggs due to this. Instead, put them in a container with a tiny open area around each egg. Then, the quality of the remaining eggs will not be affected if the egg splits and leaks.

Can Eggs Be Frozen?

Freezing eggs in shells, broken eggs, and hard-boiled eggs is generally not a good idea. However, you can save the eggs by freezing the whites and yolks or the entire prepared egg-based dish.

You can freeze egg yolks and whites if you aren’t going to utilize them within a few days of cracking the egg. However, please keep in mind that it is recommended to freeze them separately. This is because although whites freeze perfectly, yolks thicken. To avoid this, add an eighth of a teaspoon of salt or one and a half teaspoons of sugar per quarter cup of yolks. This should prevent the thickening.

If you’re freezing egg yolks, mark the container with a label indicating whether sugar or salt has been applied. This way, you won’t have sugary yolks in your scrambled eggs.

When it comes to thawing, it’s generally best to place the container in the fridge the night before you need the yolks or whites.

The freezing directions for egg-based foods vary depending on what you’re cooking. Furthermore, certain meals naturally freeze far better than others, so search for freezing directions in the recipe you’re following.

Cooking Instructions for Eggs

Use fresh eggs for poaching and other recipes that require a specific form. Save the older eggs for scrambled eggs and other egg-based recipes.


Eggs are one of the best foods available. They are inexpensive, healthful, and simple to cook.

You will be able to enjoy your eggs for much longer if you know how to keep them right and how to tell if they are still good and how to store them correctly and if they are still excellent.


Editorial Staff

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