Q: Sometimes my carton of eggs has a “sell by” date and others have a “use by” date. On the “sell by dated cartons, how long after that date can I use the eggs? On the “use by” dated cartons, is the date firm or can I use them for a day or two longer?
A: Hi Samantha Kelly,  
This is a great question! Even I struggled with this for the longest time. Use by and sell by dates can be quite confusing, so let’s dive into what they are! 
A use by date is the date the seller recommends consuming the product by for guaranteed maximum freshness. After this date, it’s not that the food goes bad but that it just might not be as fresh. Additionally, this date is not firm and is just an approximate.  
On the other hand, the sell by dates is a date that indicates when the eggs should be sold by (no later than 30 days after raw shell egg packing).  
In the case of shell eggs, there’s no need to throw out your eggs if they are past the use by date or the sell by date. After the sell by date, you can go 3-4 weeks if the eggs are stored properly. You can also go approximately 1 – 2 weeks after the use by date. To judge, your senses are your best friend.
Do not consume if they smell strange, look odd, have cracks or have been improperly stored at wrong temperatures.
Also, I would recommend thoroughly cooking eggs that are older to reduce foodborne illness risk. If you plan on consuming eggs raw or cooking them over easy, I suggest using fresh eggs to minimize risk. Or, better yet, use pasteurized eggs.
Keep in mind that eating raw or undercooked eggs can be dangerous, which is why we always recommend cooking your eggs well.
Dairy & Eggs