Do eggs expire? (+5 Ways to use old eggs)

In his article, we will answer the question “Do eggs expire?”, and what is the shelf-life of eggs?

Do eggs expire?

Yes, eggs expire. But properly stored eggs can be consumed even after their expiry. If you have a lot of eggs that are soon to be expired, your best bet is to hard-boil them and preserve them in a solution of salt and vinegar. To these pickled eggs, you can add beet, spinach, or jalapeno.

The shelf-life of eggs

Fresh eggs will preserve their freshness for 4-5 weeks in the refrigerator and  If you want to keep them longer, you can boil them. Boiled eggs will retain their quality for almost 1 week in the refrigerator and less than 2 hours in the pantry.

The shelf-life of raw egg yolk and raw egg white is less than 2 hours in the pantry and 2-4 days at the refrigeration temperatures.

How to tell if the eggs are fresh or old?

In order to distinguish a fresh and old egg, two very famous methods are as follows.

Float test

This is the easiest method to identify fresh eggs. Carefully submerge an egg in a bowl filled with water. If the egg jumps to the surface and starts to float, it is old. If the egg settles down at the bottom, it is fresh.

After an egg is laid, its temperature drops during which an air cell forms inside of it at the larger end. This space grows larger due to continuous evaporation. Therefore an older egg with a larger air cell floats over water.

Egg candling

Egg candling is performed using a candling lamp to check the stage of chick development inside a fertilized egg. It can also be used to check the freshness of an egg.

A bright light source is used to see through an egg from its broader side. If it looks empty or you feel the egg contents movings inside because of larger air space, the egg is old.

Everything you need to know about the ‘Sell by’, ‘Use by’ and ‘Best by’

The ‘Sell by’ date indicates that the eggs or any other food product should not be kept on the store shelves past this date. However, most of the stores do not comply.  Therefore, the ‘Sell By’ date is not only of concern for the seller but also for the buyer. Make sure you check the sell-by before buying.

‘Use by date is the last day the manufacturer guarantees the product quality. Beyond this date, food may not remain of prime quality but is safe to eat. ‘Best by’ is more consumer-oriented. It is the last day the product should be consumed. Beyond this date, the product loses its quality considerably.

What happens if I eat expired eggs?

If the expired eggs were contaminated due to improper storage, it is highly likely that you may experience symptoms of food poisoning due to salmonella. Food poisoning due to salmonella reflects in the form of vomiting, nausea diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. 

People with a compromised immune system like children, the elderly, or pregnant women might require proper treatment and care to recover from salmonella poisoning.

How to tell if the eggs are bad?

  1. Smell your eggs. If they give off a foul odor, throw them out immediately.
  2. If the eggshell develops a slimy layer and feels tacky upon touching, throw it in the bin as it is a clear indicator of bacterial and/or mold growth.
  3. An egg with an eggshell that is damaged or cracked from anywhere is not recommended to consume as there are high chances of contamination by salmonella for such eggs. 

Other FAQs about Eggs which you may be interested in.

How long do cooked eggs last?

How long do raw eggs last out of the shell?

Can I substitute eggs for egg whites in baking?

What to do with not-so-fresh eggs?

Go for the following ideas if the eggs are no longer of the best quality to be used for baking, cooking, or whipping.

Make compost

Eggs are a rich source of calcium, phosphoric acid, and nitrogen. Even after spoilage eggs can be used in the garden to reap these nutrients. Just bury the spoiled eggs in your garden and it will act as a fertilizer when it decomposes. Before doing so, make sure you check the plant’s needs.

Protein treatment for your hair

If the eggs are not-so-fresh to be edible, use them to make a hair mask for a protein boost. Use only yolk to moisturize dry hair. If you have an oily scalp, use egg white.

Get rid of acne

Egg white is a rich source of protein and if it does not smell too bad, use it to make an egg white mask to combat acne and shrink pores.


Egg yolk is rich in oils and can be used to make egg tempera for oil painting. Just whip some yolk, water, and pigment, and paint.

Make deviled eggs

Make deviled eggs using your older eggs using your favorite fillings.


In his article, we will answer the question “Do eggs expire?”, and what is the shelf-life of eggs?


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