Although eggs have a reputation for going off quickly, you may have noticed that they often last past their best-by date.
So if the best-by dates aren’t always correct, how long do eggs last after their best by date?
Short Answer: If stored right, eggs can last 3- 5 weeks past their expiration date.
Cracking a bad egg into a recipe can ruin your whole dish, so it is vital that you know when an egg is fresh.
In this article, we are going to work out how long eggs can last past their best-by date and the best way to store them, so they last as long as possible.
Without further ado, let’s get into it.
What Exactly Are Eggs?
You may be pretty familiar with eating eggs, but have you ever stepped back to look at what they really are? [*]
Eggs are reproductive bodies laid by the female of many species. We eat the unfertilized eggs of many species, including chickens, ducks, ostriches, and quail.
They form part of the basic diet of many people as they contain high protein levels. They are commonly used as breakfast food and in baking.
Eggs can be served fried, boiled, scrambled, poached, or as an omelet.
Eggs are made up of three parts:
The shell is the protective outer layer of the egg.
It is made of calcium carbonate crystals that protect the soft insides but can be easily cracked open by hand.
Egg shells can be white, brown, blue, or speckled, depending on the animal they come from.
The shell is discarded after cracking and can be thrown on the compost heap, where it will contribute a lot of calcium.
The white of the egg is made up of albumen, which is 90% water and 10% proteins.
It contains no fat or carbohydrates, which is why those on diets prefer to eat egg-white omelets.
The egg white is colorless and runny when raw and turns white and firm when cooked.
The yolk is the round yellow center of the egg that is protected by the egg white.
Also known as the vitellus, the egg yolk is where the egg stores its high levels of fat, cholesterol, vitamins, and minerals. They also contain protein.
The shade of yellow will depend on the diet of the animal that laid the egg.
While the egg white should be cooked all the way through, the runny yolk is perfectly safe and often preferable to eat.
How Long Do Eggs Last After Best By Date?
Eggs will eventually expire, but they can last 3-5 weeks past their best-by date. [*]
When it comes to eggs, the best-by date is predominantly there for you and the retailer to keep track of the age of the eggs.
Going past the best-by date does not mean that the eggs are off.
Since dealing with a bad egg is a very unpleasant experience, it’s key to know what to look for when an egg is fresh versus when it has gone bad.
Fresh eggs will be:
1. No Strong Odor
In the shell, the egg will give off no detectable smell. Once cracked, the egg will still remain very neutral.
2. Firm Yolk and White
The yolk of a fresh egg will be firm and easily hold its shape.
The white will be thick and cling around the yolk.
3. Sturdy Shell
The shell should be easy to crack but not very brittle.
A fresh shell will take a few firm taps on the counter to crack the shell.
How to Tell If Eggs Have Expired?
Now that you know what a fresh egg looks like, what about an off egg?
A bad egg will be:
1. Foul Odor
This is the most obvious sign that your eggs have gone bad.
Even before you crack the egg open, you will notice a strong sulfurous odor that is very unappetizing. The smell will intensify when cracked.
2. Fails the Float Test
If you can’t remember how long you’ve had your eggs, the best thing to do is the float test.
Fill a tall glass with water and place the egg gently into the glass.
If the egg tilts upwards or even floats, then the egg is old. If it sinks to the bottom and stays, it is fresh.
3. Watery Egg White and Yolk
When you crack an old egg, the white will not cling to the yolk like a fresh one. Instead, it will be watery and spread more easily.
The yolk will be less round and firm as t will have absorbed water from the white over time.
4. Brittle Shell
The older an egg becomes, the more brittle the shell becomes.
You will need to handle older eggs with care as they will break very easily and cause a mess on your counter.
5. Crack Present
Even when you have just bought a box of eggs, be sure to check for cracks.
The cracks will allow bacteria to permeate the shell and cause the egg to go off faster than usual.
What is the Best Way to Store Eggs?
The best way to store eggs is in their original container in the fridge.
Some people may transfer their eggs to a separate container, but we don’t recommend this.
The egg box is designed to absorb any excess moisture that may otherwise permeate the egg, so it is the perfect storage container.
Can You Put Eggs in the Freezer?
We do not suggest freezing eggs in their shell.
We suggest cracking the eggs open and whisking the yolks and whites together before freezing.
You can also separate them and freeze the egg white and egg yolk separately.
If you think your box of eggs might go off before you get to use them, then we suggest using one of these methods to prevent any wastage.
We don’t know about you, but we’ve learned a lot of new info about eggs!
- How Long Do Eggs Last After Best By Date? Eggs can last 3-5 weeks past their best-by date.
- What is the Best Way to Store Eggs? The best place to store eggs is in the fridge in their carton.
- You can store eggs out of the shell in the freezer.
We hope this has reminded you to pop your eggs into the fridge to keep them fresh.