Food Safety Issues/Sell Date On Eggs


I noticed that at times, in some stores, when I purchase EGGS the date for 12 eggs - can not be finished on the date by 1 individual.

There was once a long discussion on this amongst friends. Have you an exact science. How long can they be in the fridge.  This am, I did not have a problem eating an egg from the carton 2/23, when today is 3/3.  And, the last two I hard boiled.  Can I eat them and what date.  They are in the shell.

Thanks - like your reply.

I just do not like to throw eggs out.

Hi Lynn,

The dates put on eggs are a suggested use by date, placed there to help both the grocery store in rotating their stock and the consumer to give them an idea how long the eggs can be expected to remain both fresh and safe.

Normally, a refrigerated egg has a shelf life of 3 to 5 weeks after being layed.  After that time the eggs will start to show signs of aging included a large air sac that is quite evident when the egg is hard cooked.  In addition, older eggs have very thin whites which do not give the same leavening power as fresher eggs. It's not so much that a refrigerated egg "goes bad" and becomes unsafe the longer it is held in the refrigerator, but more of a loss of quality that makes it not as desirable to use and consume.

Once hard cooked, eggs should be refrigerated and used within 1 week.

A great resource with all kinds of information on eggs can be found in the "Eggcyclopedia"


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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