Did You Know

How to Tell if Your Eggs Are Fresh

Follow these tips for storage and refrigeration to keep your eggs fresh!

Fresh eggs are a delicious source of protein that can provide essential nutrients for a well-balanced diet. If you want to maximize the taste, quality, and health benefits of the eggs you purchase, follow these tips for storage and refrigeration. You can also learn how to verify that your eggs are fresh using the sell-by date and float test.

Safe Storage and Refrigeration

The first step to ensuring that your eggs remain fresh is to keep them refrigerated. Egg producers in the United States are required to sanitize their eggs to kill any salmonella bacteria on the shell, so you don’t need to wash them.

Since egg producers have already washed, sanitized, and refrigerated their products, eggs are extremely safe once they hit store shelves. However, they have the potential to become unsafe again if they’re not refrigerated. Maintaining cool temperatures (40° F or below) is crucial as it prevents the growth of bacteria that could enter the egg without the protective cuticle. Eggs should be kept in the main body of the refrigerator for optimal freshness.

Sell-by Date vs. Use-by Date

Refrigeration prolongs shelf life, but that doesn’t mean eggs stay good forever. Purchasing eggs on or before their sell-by date is a good way to ensure you’re getting high-quality eggs that will stay fresh longer when you take them home.

It’s important to know that the sell-by date is not a safety date. The sell-by date is a tool for grocery stores and shoppers to know when a product has reached its peak quality and may start to decline in freshness. As long as they’re refrigerated, eggs are still perfectly safe 2-3 weeks past the sell-by date.

Some egg cartons may feature a use-by date in place of or alongside a sell-by date. Like a sell-by date, a use-by date is not an indicator of food safety. Instead, it represents the last day the food producer recommends using a product for quality reasons. Using a product past this date might mean that the product’s taste, texture, or appearance has declined.

While neither a sell-by nor use-by date is an expiration date, they might help you determine how close you are to the day when your eggs will go bad. If you’re significantly past either date, try performing a “float test” to ensure your eggs are still safe.

Float Test

The float test is a quick and easy way to determine whether or not an egg is still fresh. All you need is your egg and a glass of cold water. Place the egg in the glass of water and check to see if it floats or sinks to the bottom.

  • If the egg sinks and rests on its side at the bottom of the glass, the egg is perfectly fresh.

  • If the egg sinks and rests on its end at the bottom, it’s still fresh but needs to be used soon.

  • If the egg floats at the top of the glass, it’s gone bad and should be composted or discarded.

The reason this test works has to do with a small air bubble within the egg. In fresh eggs, this air bubble is very small, so the egg is heavier than water. Because eggshells are porous, more air will enter the egg over time. Once an egg is about a month old and no longer safe to use, it will have enough air inside the shell to make it light and buoyant in water.

By storing your eggs properly and guaranteeing their freshness with a simple test, you can create delicious recipes for your family.

Looking for great-tasting eggs? Use our store locator tool to find farm-fresh eggs near you! Rosemary Farm prides itself on exceptional freshness in every carton.

View Our Delicious Recipes

Cook up some crowd-pleasers with these delicious recipes from Rosemary Farm.