How Long Do Eggs Last Before Going Bad?
If eggs have been transported and stored properly, they can last for many weeks in the refrigerator and even longer in the freezer (8, 9).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires all eggs to be kept below 45°F (7°C) from the time they are washed until they are purchased — but it’s just as important that eggs are handled and stored properly after you’ve bought them.
This means you should refrigerate eggs quickly to prevent condensation from building up, which can facilitate the movement of bacteria through the shell (7).
Ideally, eggs should be stored in their original carton in the back of the fridge. This prevents them from absorbing odors and protects them from temperature fluctuations as the refrigerator door is opened and closed (2,7).
You can also use a thermometer to check that your refrigerator is at the proper temperature (below 40°F or 4°C) (10).
This chart explains how long eggs can be stored before going bad or becoming so low in quality (taste and texture) that it’s best to throw them out (7, 10).
It is not recommended to freeze eggs in the shell. If you want to preserve them for longer than the recommended 4–5 weeks in the fridge, you can crack them into a freezer-safe container and keep them frozen for a year or more.
Eggs can be stored in the freezer indefinitely, but their quality will start to decline after a certain point. Additionally, make sure your freezer is below 0° F (-18° C) (10).
When you’re ready to use them, move the container to the refrigerator to thaw and use within one week.
If you live outside of the US in a country where hens are vaccinated against Salmonella and eggs are not washed and refrigerated, eggs can safely be kept at room temperature for 1–3 weeks, if desired (11).
However, after about 1 week at room temperature, the eggs’ quality will begin to decline. And after about 21 days, an egg’s natural defenses will lose their effectiveness (11, 12).
Eggs can be placed in the refrigerator or freezer after this point to extend their shelf life, but they will not last as long as eggs that have been kept in the refrigerator from purchase.
If you live in the US or another country where eggs must be refrigerated, eggs should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours (7).
To learn more about why eggs in the US need to be refrigerated while those in other countries don’t, check out this article.
Summary: Fresh eggs can be kept for 3–5 weeks in the fridge or about one year in the freezer. Store them in the original carton away from the door of the fridge to preserve quality.