It’s typically very clear when something goes bad in the fridge. It’s moldy, smells horrendous, tastes weird—the list goes on. But if you’re wondering how long eggs last, that answer is hard to crack: All you see is the shell with no indication of what’s going inside.
Having a good understanding of how long certain foods last in the fridge is crucial—it saves you money and keeps waste out of landfills. Here’s everything you need to know about how long eggs last, as well as storage tips that help them stay fresh for longer.
How Long Do Eggs Last?
So, how long do eggs last? Likely a lot longer than you think. If you’re not an egg-a-day type of person and like to make your carton last as long as possible, you’re in luck: In-shell, pasteurized eggs stay fresh for up to 5 weeks in the refrigerator.
While the “Sell-By” date on the eggs typically expires within that time period, the USDA says as long as the eggs are refrigerated at 40°F or slightly below, they’re perfectly safe to eat past the “Sell-By” date.
While in-shell eggs can last 3 to 5 weeks, frozen eggs last much longer. If you can’t finish a carton in time, remove the eggs from the shells, whisk, and put them in a container to save for later. Frozen eggs will stay fresh for up to one year.
There are also different rules for different types of eggs. Hard-boiled eggs only stay fresh for one week. And if you have an egg substitute of pasteurized liquid eggs, those stay fresh for 10 days unopened or three days after opening them.
How to Tell If an Egg Is Still Fresh
You know how long eggs can last. But how do you know when you have a bad egg on your hands? The easiest way to find out is to put it in a bowl of water.
Here’s how it works: As an egg gets older, the air pocket inside of it begins to grow larger. As it’s losing freshness, it will start to float. It’s a quick and easy way to get an indicator of how much longer you have to eat an egg.
If it sinks to the bottom: If you have a fresh egg on your hands, it will sink to the bottom and sit on its side.
If it sinks but floats a little: If the egg sinks but either floats at an angle or stands on one end, it’s not bad… but you should eat it soon. It’s likely between one and three weeks old.
If it floats to the top: If it floats to the top, it’s bad. Time to toss it out! You can put raw eggs, as well as eggshells, in your compost.
Egg Storage Tips for Freshness
To keep your eggs fresh for as long as possible, follow these simple tips.
1. Keep Your Fridge at the Proper Temperature
Check your fridge to see if it’s at the correct temperature of at or below 40°F. The proper temperature slows the growth of bacteria inside of the egg, which keeps it from going bad. If your fridge is above the proper temperature, items are likely to spoil or go bad quickly.
2. Put Your Eggs in the Fridge as Soon as You Get Home
Don’t keep your eggs on the kitchen counter after unloading groceries. The USDA says to put them in your fridge immediately to prevent them from going bad. You don’t want them sitting at room temperature for very long.
3. Keep Eggs in the Back of the Fridge
Where you store your eggs in the fridge matters. Keep them in their original container on an inside shelf toward the back of the fridge. While many people like storing eggs on the door of the fridge, the temperature in the back is more consistent; they won’t stay as cool due to the opening and closing of the door.
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