Eggs are one of those foods that we’re brought up believing to be extremely perishable, due to the risk of food poisoning and numerous idioms and references to “rotten eggs.” But how long do eggs last, really?
If an egg is still whole, it’ll last for a lot longer than you think, most likely. Eggs can be eaten for up to a month after their sell-by date, and sometimes even longer than that. Because they’re entirely self-contained, bacteria can’t get in, keeping them fresh.
There are a few tips for keeping eggs fresh. First, don’t take them out of the carton and put them in the refrigerator door. They’ll warm up every time the door is opened, leading to quicker spoilage. Always keep them in the carton, in a central spot in the refrigerator.
If you’re concerned about the freshness of eggs, there are a couple tests you can do. If you don’t want to crack the egg, try the float test: If an egg sinks when placed into a bowl of water, it’s still fresh. If it floats, that means that bacterial processes have created gas and that it should be thrown away. When cracked, a bad egg will have an odor, and the white will also be completely clear and pinkish.
While eggs most likely last longer than you might think, remember that they do go bad eventually, so never risk eating an egg you suspect might have turned.