Free Range Eggs

How to Tell if Eggs are Still Good

Are my eggs still good? For a fresh food, eggs have a surprisingly long shelf life; the USDA considers them safe to eat for 45 days after processing. There's also a simple test to determine an egg's relative freshness.

By Nellie's Kindness Crew

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Like all fresh foods, eggs don't last forever. But thanks to their shells, they're rather resilant. 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).

The best way to know if an egg is still good is to go by the date code on the package that it came in.

However, if you have an egg and you're not sure about that date, another way to test it is to simply place it in a bowl or glass filled with cold water.

The water test for egg freshness

Fill a bowl or glass with about four inches of cold water and gently place your egg(s) inside.

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. Two bonuses: 1. They'll peel without sticking to the white when hard boiled and 2. The egg whites are easier to whip into meringue when making desserts.

Any eggs that are too old to eat and should be discarded will simply float to the surface. Once enough oxygen has had time to permeate the shell, it forms an air pocket large enough to keep the egg afloat in water.


Carla CurryMay 15, 2021

Thanks for the freshness test.


You're welcome, glad we could help!

VickieApril 21, 2021

Did not know that about meringue! I make cream pies all the time with meringue topping. Thank you fir that bonus information!


We're happy to help!

PATRiCIA StanekApril 12, 2021

Thank you for the information!


We're so glad that you found this information helpful, Patricia!

Johanna KnickerbockerOctober 03, 2020

I just did your eggg in the water trick and my eggs were fresh. I Love it. I have already shared it with family and they all got a kick out it.


So great to hear this trick is coming in handy for you! Thanks for sharing.

DorisAugust 25, 2020

I was given 11 dozen washed farm raised eggs on July 4th. I put them in a small refrigerator (about 30 inches tall) in my garage. I had checked at about 3 days to see if they had frozen and they were ok, but when I went to pack them to take to my other home they were frozen. They thawed for about 2 hours until I put them in the frig there. I have tried to fry them but they are a bit rubbery (the whites). Must I throw them out. I am so disgusted. Could I refreeze just the yolks?


Hey Doris, We would recommend throwing those eggs out just to err on the side of caution. As always you are welcome to contact us at 1-877-476-6384 if you have any additional comments or concerns.

John NeviusMay 20, 2020

My wife came home from a 12 hour night shift and fried 3 eggs for breakfast about 9am this morning. about 2:30pm she woke up very sick to her stomach, diarrhea, sweating badly, and then threw up. All she had was the eggs and water. I could not see a sell by date or any date stamp on them ? I was in the grocery business for years and was surprised as this is needed for rotating the stock and to warn consumers !


Hi John, we are so sorry to hear this and would like to address this right away. Please give us a call at (877)476-6384 or send an email to [email protected] at your earliest convenience with as many details as you have regarding the eggs as well as any signs and symptoms your wife experience. Thank you for your cooperation. We will look out for this email.

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