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How long will eggs last in the fridge?

d
dhchait Mar 29, 2008 04:09 PM

I've had some eggs in the fridge for quite awhile. Do eggs go bad if kept in the fridge? If so how can I tell? When I crack them open will they look or smell bad?

For the avoidance of doubt, I am talking about whole, uncracked, chicken eggs still in the carton, not cooked eggs.

Thanks!

  1. ipsedixit Aug 12, 2012 12:08 PM

    How long will eggs last in the fridge?
    ________________________________

    Months.

    Old eggs will float in water.

    But old does not mean "bad" or much less rotten.

    Trust me, you don't need to crack open an egg to know it's rotten.

    1. todao Aug 12, 2012 11:28 AM

      Eggs purchased fresh and kept refrigerated - between 35 & 41 degrees - and having never reached room temperature should keep up to about 4 weeks past the date on the carton (which is the packaging date). You can put an egg in a container of unsalted water, deep enough to totally immerse the egg by twice its diameter, and if it rests under the water and in contact with the bottom of the container it's probably just fine. If one end turns upward, it's probably still OK but it needs to be used right away. If the entire egg floats I'd just toss it. Those are usually no good and often have an odd taste.
      The important part to consider about eggs being "good" is how they're handled.
      Here's some advice from the folks who know:
      http://www.aeb.org/foodservice-profes...

      1. saltwater Mar 29, 2008 04:30 PM

        Over a month, assuming you bought them somewhere relatively reliable, and they hadn't been mishandled. I've never had them actually go bad unless one of the shells got cracked. Their cooking properties change somewhat. They are better for hard boiling and subsequent peeling if they are a little older, IIR. The yolk will become flatter if you crack it as it gets older, and the air sack in the end will expand so that the egg will float in water and not sink. If it totally floats, I wouldn't use it. Tilting and sort of hovering is fine.

        Do be aware that American eggs are washed, which is part of why they are refrigerated. If they are unwashed, they still have a natural coating.

        Once hard boiled, I'd not keep them over a week. I've eaten many, many eggs at a month or a week more from the fridge.

        7 Replies
        1. re: saltwater
          d
          dhchait Mar 29, 2008 04:38 PM

          Thanks... I think it's probably been a couple months. Honestly I don't know :-)

          So I cracked them into a bowl and whipped it up. I'd say there's a *slight* off smell to them, something like the smell of the inside of a raw chicken carcass. Not so strong that they're clearly bad, but when I lean my face down into the bowl and take a whiff, it does have a smell like chicken carcass, which is not something I ever noticed in raw eggs before.

          Safe? Unsafe?

          1. re: dhchait
            diablo Mar 29, 2008 04:49 PM

            Um, I would not eat them if there is even a *slight* off smell. No sense in risking salmonella, and this from one with an iron stomach.

            1. re: diablo
              d
              dhchait Mar 29, 2008 04:52 PM

              Yep, after a bit of thought I chucked em. Was hoping to finish preparing tomorrow's brunch tonight (fritata), but no such luck. Off to the market in the morning for some fresh eggs.

              1. re: dhchait
                saltwater Mar 29, 2008 05:55 PM

                Definitely a good idea if you detected any odor. Lots of egg packages have dates on them, so you might look for it on your next package. I know exactly what you mean about losing track of when you bought them. It is so easy to do that. Usually that date is one after which they can't sell the eggs as fresh, so the eggs are good for awhile after that date (the four weeks or month).

                Actually, to be really nerdy, there is another type of date on the package, the secret date of packing number. It runs in a consecutive fashion through all the days of the year, so 038 would be packed some time in February, I think Feb 7, by subtracting off the 31 days in January. This number is a different number on the package from the "sell by" date.

                1. re: saltwater
                  c
                  cwodtke Aug 12, 2012 10:50 AM

                  Any truth to the old tale that bad eggs float in water?

                  1. re: cwodtke
                    k
                    kengk Aug 12, 2012 11:41 AM

                    As the eggs get older the air cell gets larger. I don't know for sure that just because it floats its bad but it is definitely older.

                    Here is a study done to see how best to store eggs.

                    http://www.motherearthnews.com/Sustai...

                    1. re: cwodtke
                      greygarious Aug 12, 2012 12:33 PM

                      Yes, because the contents shrink, leaving a growing air pocket. Once, when recovering from surgical complications, I did almost no scratch cooking for months.
                      A single egg that had languished in the fridge door (I do know that's not the best place for an egg). When at last I wanted to use it, it weighed next to nothing and when I shook it, I heard a marble rattle around. I did NOT investigate further!

                      Note: this thread is 4 yrs old.

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