Can you get sick from eating old eggs?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you get sick from eating old eggs?”, and how to make the eggs last longer?

Can you get sick from eating old eggs?

Yes, you can get sick from eating old if the eggs were contaminated with Salmonella. The likelihood of contamination is high if the eggs were kept in and storage conditions. 

However, the eggs may also be contaminated during processing and might have multiplied to dangerous levels during refrigeration. Because refrigeration does not stop the growth of microbes, it only slows it down.

Salmonella is the most common pathogenic bacteria that contaminate eggs. Salmonella resides in the intestines of animals and humans and causes food poisoning. Common symptoms of Salmonellosis include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. 

The best way to ensure egg safety is to cook the eggs, whether old or fresh, to an internal safe temperature of 160°F (71°C). If you do not have a thermometer to accurately gauge the temperature of the eggs, cook the eggs until the yolk is firm and white is no longer runny or translucent. 

Who should avoid expired eggs?

Some people are more susceptible to food poisoning than others. Such individuals have poor immunity and include young children, older adults, and people with ongoing illnesses.

Such individuals should avoid eating spoiled, old, or expired and raw eggs. A healthy individual should recover from salmonella illness within 5-7 days. A person with low immunity may need to be hospitalized if they contact salmonella.

How long do eggs last?

Washed and refrigerated in-shell eggs last about 3-5 weeks. The date labels on the egg cartons help you determine the shelf-life of the eggs accurately. 

The printed dates inform you have long the eggs have been sitting on the store shelves and how much longer can they safely stay in the fridge. 

Eggs may be printed with different date labels. It is important to understand each one of them to calculate the shelf-life of the eggs.

Best-day: Eggs can be enjoyed at their prime before the printed best-by date. Although the eggs remain safe to eat past the best-by date, they do not have the best taste.

Sell-by: The sell-by date lies within the 30 days of packing the eggs. So the eggs are about 4 weeks old when the sell-by date arrives.

Expiry date: The expiry date is the same as the sell-by date for eggs.

Pack date: Th pack date refers to the day when the eggs were packed after processing. A pack date is a three-digit number that lies anywhere between 1-365.

How to tell if the eggs have spoiled?

Eggs with an exceeded expiry date are not necessarily spoiled. Eggs that have recently crossed the expiration date and are stored correctly may still be safe to eat. This does not mean that the eggs are in the best shape. Before eating expired eggs, inspect them for the following spoilage signs.

Off-smell: A spoiled egg gives off a nasty smell that does not go unnoticed. Whether cooked or uncooked, spoiled or rotten eggs will give a bad odor which is a confirmed sign of spoilage.

Appearance: Presneceof slime or any discolored or fuzzy spots on the eggs is an indication of mold growth. Moldy eggs should be discarded.

Trust your instincts: When in doubt, get rid of the eggs. Instincts are not deceptive.

Tips to store eggs for freshness

Know if your eggs are washed

Farm-fresh eggs do not need to be refrigerated. It can be safely kept on the counter at room temperature. Washing the eggs makes them more prone to Salmonella infection. 

Therefore, the eggs that have been washed must always be refrigerated. The fridge should maintain a steady temperature of 4 degrees or below to protect the eggs from temperature fluctuations. 

Keep your eggs refrigerated

Freezing is not a wise option for storing in-shell eggs. Freezing temperatures solidify the egg contents and ruin their quality. Refrigerating the eggs at a steady temperature of 40°F (4–5°C) is the ideal storage condition for washed eggs. 

Never keep the eggs in the fridge door because this spot is the most inconsistent in temperature. The central shelves of the fridge are the coldest and this is where the eggs should be kept.

Choose pasteurized eggs if you are at high risk

If you belong to the immunocompromised category, opt for pasteurized eggs to fulfill your protein requirement without any health issues. You should only use pasteurized eggs for recipes that call for raw eggs such as Cesar dressing, hollandaise sauce, etc.


In this article, we answered the question “Can you get sick from eating old eggs?”, and how to make the eggs last longer?


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.