An expiration date is not necessarily the day that food will likely go bad. It is a sell-by day that manufacturers, packers and stores use to determine freshness. It indicates how long the store is allowed to sell the product. It is supposed to be best by that particular date. However, many people do not want to take a chance with an egg. They are concerned by the potential for serious illness and the risk posed by consuming expired food. Surprisingly, eggs can be good for weeks after the expiration date. Consider these safety facts and tips, and find out how long eggs are good after they are considered expired. The answers just might surprise you.
Whether or not an egg is good before and after the expiration date depends upon many factors including storage temperatures, the condition and how it was handled before, during and after the purchase. When in doubt, throw it out. The following information is not meant to replace commonsense. Consume the food you buy and store at your own risk.
How Long are they Good After the Expiration Date?
Do not throw away a perfectly good egg just because of a stamp on the carton. Eggs will usually remain good in quality and safe to eat up to five weeks after the expiration date on the container. If the eggs are expired and cracked and/or spilling out of the shells they should be disposed of. The expiration date indicates when they are best to eat, and it is simply a guideline for freshness. The five week mark depends upon whether or not the eggs have been properly and consistently stored in the refrigerator at 45 degrees Fahrenheit or less. If they have been stored and handled properly, they are likely good and perfectly safe to eat.
In any case, eggs should not be stored in the door or in a built-in plastic egg keeper in the fridge. This is not a good practice. Store them in the original carton inside of the refrigerator compartment. The door area is warmer, and this can result in premature spoilage.
How to Tell if they are Fresh
It is easy to tell if eggs are fresh with a bowl of water. Fill a large bowl with cold water, and gently add one egg at a time. The eggs that float are older, but they are not necessarily bad. They float because of an internal air pocket that increases in size as they age. When they are not fresh they will float on or near the top of the water, but this does not mean they are not good. Although this is an indication of freshness, it does not indicate that the eggs are not good or safe to consume.