US Department of Agriculture scientists in Georgia have found that if stored properly, eggs can be used beyond the sell-by date.

Researchers discovered that well-handled and refrigerated eggs showed no marked quality decrease over ten weeks, far beyond the 30-day industry standard for storage on grocers’ shelves.

Washing eggs can remove bacteria like E. coli O157:H7 from their surface, reducing the chances that the microbes could get into them once they are cracked open.

The cuticle – the natural protective coating that helps to preserve freshness and prevent microbial contamination of the egg – is damaged or removed by processing, but processors have found that applying a thin layer of oil can help preserve the egg’s quality.