Shelf life of eggs

Shelf Life Of Eggs: How Long Do They Last?

Shelf life of eggs

Eggs have become a staple part of our everyday life. With qualities such as easy fixing, cheap and delicious, eggs are the pride of one’s breakfast table.

I for one always have eggs in my breakfast. Not just because their cheap, eggs are also a nutrient-dense food with a lot of significance and value in providing good health. Thus they make for a very mouth watering, filling and nutritious meal.

With such importance in one’s life, the quality of eggs one consumes also matters. Fresh eggs or Organic eggs are a must in your diet, if you want to feel their entire taste and benefits. So this begs the question, how long to eggs retain their full nutritional quality. How long does it take for an egg to get bad, or not safe to consume.

As a result, we at Chicago live poultry have written a detailed post to inform you about the shelf life of eggs and when do fresh eggs begin to lose their nutritious value.

What is Shelf Life?

Shelf life in regards to an egg refers to the time period of an egg during which it retains its full nutritional value and is fully safe to consume.

If we take the expiration date of an egg carton as an example, it tells us about how long the eggs will remain fresh.

However, that isn’t always the case, and if you throw away the eggs out as soon as the expiration date hits, then you may as well be wasting eggs and your money. Because it takes some time before a fresh egg starts to go bad.

What Does “Go Bad” Means?

In many nations, as soon as the eggs are layed, they are washed and sterilized almost immediately to prevent any infection by the bacteria Salmonella. This bacteria if not removed, can infect the inner contents of the egg and hence cause food poisoning upon consumption.

However, the cleaning process that the fresh eggs undergo causes their outer protective cuticle to weaken, and can result in other kinds of bacteria making their way in and infecting the egg. This infection of foreign bacteria is what makes the fresh egg “Go Bad”, or become inedible.

How Long do Eggs Last?

According to Food and Drug Administration (FDA), fresh eggs can be consumed within three weeks after their purchase.

But that’s not all, The Egg Safety Center suggests that eggs are safe to eat upto five weeks.

The trick to keeping an egg last longer is to always buy and keep them refrigerated.

As stated previously, removal of the protective cuticle can expose the egg to contamination by bacteria. However, keeping an egg in a refrigerator, at a temperature below 40°F/4°C reduces the growth of germs and helps in keeping it from piercing the egg shell.

This helps the egg stay fresh for a long time.

In contrast, an egg kept at room temperature can go bad as quickly as in just 2 hours. So Chicago live poultry suggests to always buy eggs from a refrigerator and place them in your own refrigerator as soon as you get home.

Freezing an egg is also an option that some use. For this, it is recommended to remove the white and yolk from the shell and then freeze them. Doing this can increase the shelf life of an egg to a whopping 1 year. Now you don’t have to worry about fresh eggs going bad.

Though, while freezing helps in preserving the eggs for much longer, the eggs won’t remain fresh forever. There is a point at which you have to throw them away. So it’s recommend to buy limited amount and consume them regularly.

How to Check Weather an Egg is Fresh or Not?

It is recommended to always keep your purchased eggs in their own carton. Otherwise you’ll eventually forget their expiration date and this could go bad.

However, there are a few tips/tricks to overcome this confusion. Some simple tests that can be performed at home to check weather the eggs are fresh or not. Let’s discuss them in detail.

The Sniff Test:

First and the easiest test to check for an eggs quality is the sniff test. It’s as simple as it sounds. Just give a few sniffs to check for any unwanted or unnatural odors.

Though a fresh egg has no smell, a bad one will definitely give off an unmistakable bad odor.

The Sight Test:

For this second one, just take an empty bowl and crack the egg in it. If you notice any blood or any other thing in the White of an egg that shouldn’t be there, just throw it away. It’s gone bad.

If there’s no sight of unwanted spots, then it’s safe to consume.

The Water Suspension Test

The final test for checking an eggs quality is the suspension test.

To do so, fill a large dish with cold tap water, large enough to fully submerge the eggs. Then, one by one, place the eggs you want to test in the bowl and see if they float or not.

The eggs that have entirely drowned, that is, their sides have laid flat on the dish, are perfectly fresh and safe to eat. The ones that are partially hung, that is, one pointy side contacts the floor while the other faces upward, are a little older but still safe to eat. These are perfect for hard boiling. Finally, the eggs that are entirely floated on the water have gone bad and should be discarded.


To summarize it all, refrigerated eggs can last for upto 5 weeks, frozen ones can last for upto 1 year, and unrefrigerated ones can go bad in 2 hours. So always keep your eggs in the fridge. And if you forget their expiration dates, just use one of the testing methods stated above.

That concludes today’s article from Chicago live poultry; we’ll see you in the next one, and in the meantime, remember to eat only fresh eggs.

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