Imagine this. It’s been a few weeks since you made a chefs-kiss-perfect sunny side up Happy Egg for breakfast (gasp!) with some avocado toast to complete the dish. You pop open the fridge to pull out your Happy Eggs, and the Best Buy date was 3 days prior. Are these eggs safe to eat? Are they still fresh even past that estimated “best buy” date? Here’s the 411:
1. Sell By Date
Eggs can be refrigerated for three to five weeks from the day they are first placed in the refrigerator, per the USDA. Though the “Sell By” date will usually expire during that time period, your eggs should still be perfectly safe to use. Store your Happy Eggs in your fridge at 40°F or lower to keep them fresh.
2. Egg Float Test
This is one of our favorite hacks ever. Fill a bowl with enough water to cover the egg plus some and place the egg in it. If the egg stays at the bottom, it is fresh and good to eat. If the end of the egg with the air cell, the larger end, floats a bit, the egg is still good, just not as fresh. If the egg floats and loses contact with the bottom of the bowl, it is a bad egg.
To test the freshness of your egg using the candle method, shine a light source (like a flashlight) next to the large end of the egg and you will see the inside of the shell illuminated. If you see air pockets in the egg, the egg is not exactly fresh. The larger the air pocket, the older the egg. When candling, you want to look for the air cell— usually located at the larger end of the egg. The smaller the air cell, the fresher the egg. The air cell grows because the moisture in the egg is leaving through tiny pores in the shell. As the moisture leaves, air comes in. This does not mean the egg is bad! It only means the egg has aged.
4. Sniff Test
Simply sniff the eggs right out of the fridge. Smell funky? Let's throw those eggs away just to be safe. Enough said.
5. Egg White Test
Crack an egg on a flat plate and investigate the look of the egg white. (Eggs that have cracks in the shell or even hairline fractures should be thrown out). If you crack open an egg and you see hints of pink or green, that’s a typical sign that it’s no longer fresh.
At the end of the day, if there's any uncertainty on whether you're eggs are fresh, it's best to go ahead and toss them out and grab a new carton to be safe. But, these tried-and-true tips can help you decide, and may just save you a trip to the grocery store.