How Long Do Eggs Last?
“How long can you keep eggs” is the question the American Egg Board is often asked. Eggs are perishable and for food safety United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires eggs be refrigerated. Many factors can affect how long eggs last. When properly handled and stored, eggs rarely spoil. However, if you keep them too long, they are likely to dry up. These fresh egg storage tips below help you learn how to properly store eggs to last.
Refrigerator Storage: Refrigerate eggs at 40°F or less. Store them in their original carton on an inside shelf and away from pungent foods. The temperature on an inside shelf remains more constant than one on the door, which is opened and closed frequently. The carton keeps the eggs from picking up odors or flavors from other foods and helps prevent moisture loss.
Raw eggs that have been removed from their shells should be refrigerated in a tightly covered container. Refrigerated whole egg yolks should be covered with water to prevent them from drying out; drain before using. The following chart shows how long hard-boiled eggs and raw eggs last when stored in the refrigerator.
Learn more about why refrigeration is required by the United States Department of Agriculture for shell eggs and egg products, while other countries may not require refrigeration.
|Eggs||Refrigerator (35°F to 40°F)|
|Raw whole eggs (in shell)||4 to 5 weeks beyond the pack date or about 3 weeks after purchase|
|Raw whole eggs (slightly beaten)||Up to 2 days|
|Raw egg whites||Up to 4 days|
|Raw egg yolks||Up to 2 days|
|Hard-boiled eggs (in shell)||Up to 1 week|
|Hard-boiled eggs (peeled)||Use the same day for best quality|
Freezer Storage: If you have more eggs than you can use within a few weeks, you can freeze them, out of their shells. Freeze only clean, fresh eggs. Place them in freezer containers, seal tightly and label with the number of eggs, whites or yolks and the date. Defrost frozen eggs overnight in the refrigerator.
Egg yolks thicken (or gel) when frozen. To hinder gel formation, beat in either 1/8 teaspoon salt or 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar or corn syrup per ¼ cup yolks (4 Large) before freezing. Indicate “with salt” (main dishes) or “with sugar” (desserts) on the label. The following chart shows how long hard-boiled eggs and raw eggs last when stored in the freezer.
|Eggs||Freezer (0°F or colder)|
|Raw whole eggs (in shell)||Not recommended|
|Raw whole eggs (slightly beaten)||Up to 1 year|
|Raw egg whites||Up to 1 year|
|Raw egg yolks||Up to year|
|Hard-boiled eggs (in shell)||Not recommended|
|Hard-boiled eggs (peeled)||Not recommended (the white become tough and watery)|