What happens when you eat expired eggs?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “What happens when you eat expired eggs?”. We will further elaborate on the side effects of eating expired eggs, what are the signs and symptoms of spoiled eggs.

What happens when you eat expired eggs?

When you eat expired eggs, you may be at an increased risk of contracting Salmonella infection. 

What are the symptoms of Salmonella infection?

Expired eggs can be potentially harmful if they have Salmonella. You will usually experience symptoms, such as: 

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea (sometimes bloody)
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Shivering
  • Loss of appetite 

It may take 1-3 days to contract a Salmonella infection after eating contaminated eggs. However, you can feel unhealthy anywhere between 20 mins to six weeks after you have consumed expired eggs. In extreme cases, you can experience chronic, intense, fatal conditions from ingesting foodborne bacteria. 

Symptoms generally last for 2 to 7 days, though diarrhoea could persist for about 10 days and it may take months until your intestine starts to work normally again. If you experience any of the above symptoms for over 2 days, you should consult a doctor for proper treatment. 

How does Salmonella infect eggs?

Eggs are considered a staple food all over the world. They are highly nutritious and the cheapest source of protein. Eggs can be boiled or cooked which take no time to prepare. 

However, Salmonella can be residing in whole intact eggs. It can cause contamination in the eggs either externally– by entering through the eggshell, or internally– if the hen already had Salmonella, and the bacteria entered into the egg before the formation of the eggshell.

What does it mean by the expiration date of eggs?

The carton of eggs has an expiration date that is mentioned by a specific term known as “best before” or “sell by” date. These mentioned dates let us know how long eggs are safe to consume. But, the shelf life of eggs could be enhanced by storing them at a proper temperature and under controlled conditions. 

So, if you are confused about whether to consume the expired eggs or not, then the answer is “Yes” you can consume the expired eggs. But if there are clear indications of spoilage, such as the growth of bacteria or unusual texture and smell, then you must discard such eggs.

There is a difference between those eggs that are spoiled after their expiration date and those that remain safe after their expiration date.

How long do eggs last?

The shelf life of shelled eggs, that have been washed properly and stored in a refrigerator, will be 3 to 5 weeks. 

As eggs also have a major constituent of protein similar to meat and milk, the shelf life of meat and milk is almost one week. So, if we consider all the perishable proteins, eggs have a longer shelf life.

Also, it is not easy to find the expiration date of eggs. When you buy eggs from the store, it will be difficult to know from how much time they are in the store and how long they could stay safe.

Usually, egg cartons are labelled with their expiration date but some eggs do not have such due dates. In such a case, it all depends upon the regulation and source from where you are taking eggs.

What are some commonly labelled dates on egg cartons?

We will discuss some dates related to eggs by which they are categorised:

Best-by date

The best-by date is set by the manufacturers at which the eggs have their best taste and flavour. It is considered good to eat before this date. 

But if you notice any signs and symptoms of spoilage in the eggs, then these are not safe to consume and sell.

Sell-by date

This date usually has a target of 30 days. During this time, it is best to sell the eggs.

What are the signs and symptoms of spoiled eggs?

Eggs that have passed more than 2 to 3 weeks after the expiration date, will begin to decline in quality, taste, and texture. To examine whether they are edible or not, you should follow some of the following tips:

Smell them

If the raw or cooked egg gives an unpleasant smell or a foul odour, then you should discard it. The smell of rotten eggs could even be sensed when the egg is sealed in its shell.

Look them over, inside and out

An unspoiled egg will never have any sign of mould or slime in its shell. While a spoiled or expired egg will give a changed colour indication of white or yolk.

Other FAQs about Eggs that you may be interested in.

How to boil brown eggs?

What do eggs taste like

What do rotten eggs smell like?


In this brief guide, we have provided an answer to the question, “What happens when you eat expired eggs?”. We have further elaborated on the side effects of eating expired eggs, what are the signs and symptoms of spoiled eggs.