Words by: Family Farm Team
Can I eat my expired eggs? If you’ve ever found yourself staring curiously at that carton of organic eggs in the back of your fridge as you ask yourself this question, you’re not alone. Inquiries about the date on our cartons and how long eggs remain good after their expiration date arrive in our inbox daily . So, we thought we’d take a moment to clear up any confusion about what to do with that forgotten carton now past its prime.
Like all fresh foods, eggs don't last forever. But thanks to their shells, they're rather resilient. Even though the mandated USDA washing and processing of eggs actually reduces their oxygen barrier, and thus shortens their freshness cycle, they still come with a relatively robust time allowance: eggs can be consumed 45 days from the time of processing (which is usually just a few days after being laid).
When trying to determine if the eggs in your carton are safe to eat, the best course of action is to consult the best by date. At Pete and Gerry's, we print a best by date alongside a few other pieces of information that will help you determine whether the eggs are still okay to eat. You can find a full explanation of this information in our Egg Safety Tips, but the most important thing to remember is that eggs should be eaten on or before their best by date.
Unless you’ve taken measures to extend the shelf life of your eggs, the expiration date is the most reliable indication of how long eggs can be consumed safely. Once a carton has passed its best by date, or 45 days from being processed, those eggs are considered expired and we’re unable to guarantee any safety or results from consuming them.
Though we can’t recommend eating our eggs past their best by date, we understand that expired eggs do happen from time to time. If the eggs in your carton have recently passed their best by date, or if you're unsure of the date, the water test is a great option:
First, you’ll want to fill a bowl or glass with about four inches of cold water and gently place your egg(s) inside.
Observe whether your eggs sink to the bottom or stays afloat in water. Very fresh eggs will sink to the bottom and lay on their sides. If an egg stays at the bottom but stands on its small end, it's still fine to eat; just not quite as fresh. These "more mature" eggs are no less nutritious than a fresher egg, and most people are unlikely to notice a difference in taste. These older eggs also come with a few bonuses: they'll peel easily without sticking to the white when hard boiled, and the egg whites are easier to whip into meringue when making desserts.
Once enough oxygen has had time to permeate the shell, it forms an air pocket large enough to keep the egg afloat in water. Any eggs that float to the surface of the water are too old to eat and should be discarded.
March 22, 2022
What is the relationship of the packing plant to the farm or farms where the eggs come from? Is there a key for the packing plant numbers that is available? Thank you
November 16, 2021
Multiple packages purchased from
Market Basket in Newburyport, MA have not had expiration dates.
We are so sorry to hear this. If you are open to it, we'd love to chat with you some more about your experience and try to investigate this further. Would you mind dropping us a line at [email protected]?
Thank you for your feedback!
January 21, 2021
There is no date code on the carton! Purchased in upstate NY
January 22, 2021
Hi Paul, we are so sorry to hear your carton might have snuck past our date stamp. Typically, the date can be found stamped directly on the plastic on either end of the carton. If you still can't find the date and feel comfortable doing so, you can certainly follow the water test described above. Otherwise, please don't hesitate to send us an email at [email protected] with store details and when you purchased the eggs and we'd be happy to send a coupon your way so you can replace this carton on us.
October 28, 2020
How can i check the expiry date
October 29, 2020
Hi there. All of our eggs should have their expiration date printed on the side of the carton.
September 17, 2020
The date is covered on my recently purchased eggs. Can I tell the freshness date by another code on the carton? P172 233 B6.
September 18, 2020
Hi Ann, so sorry to hear you're unable to read the best by date on your carton. Thank you for providing us with that information, it's extremely helpful! According to the other numbers printed, we were able to calculate the best by date as October 3, 2020. Please let us know if we can be of further help and we hope you enjoy those eggs!
April 13, 2020
I tried your tip and all the eggs stood up but remained on the bottom of the mixing bowl. I'm still wondering if they are safe to eat (including bake with). My refrigerator went out and it took the property manager 2 weeks to replace it. The thermometer that I put in there showed a consistent 58 degrees during those two weeks.
April 14, 2020
Hi Lynn, thanks for bringing up this important point! The water test is meant to test egg freshness in terms of age - if your eggs are still remaining on the bottom of the bowl during the water test, then they're "fresh" in age but not necessarily guaranteed safe from other factors like bacterial contamination. Unfortunately, we cannot recommend eating eggs that have been kept at 58° F. Eggs need to be kept at or below 45° F to limit the growth of any bacteria that could cause spoilage. We hope this helps clear things up for you, and please don't hesitate to send us an email at [email protected] if we can answer any other questions for you!
June 14, 2018
January 11, 2019