HomeEgg Facts Has my egg gone bad? How to test an egg’s freshness

Has my egg gone bad? How to test an egg’s freshness

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Eggs are a common breakfast food, yet even eggs have an expiration date. Because salmonella germs can be transferred from egg to egg without being apparent, it’s vital to know when eggs go bad because salmonella infection in eggs may cause food poisoning. Cooking eggs kills the bacteria, but it doesn’t eliminate them completely.

The difference between a fresh egg and a bad egg

Eggs can be a great way to make something special, but they’re not always perfect. The difference between fresh eggs and bad ones has more to do with how the chicken is treated before being put on display for sale than anything else-meaning that some breeds were bred over thousands of years with this process in mind!

How Can You Tell if an Egg Has Gone Bad?

It is not always easy to tell if eggs have gone bad, but there are a few simple tests that will help you figure it out.

Place an egg in a bowl of water

Egg float test, if the egg sinks, it’s fresh – if it floats, it’s not

Simply fill a bowl with cold water and place eggs in it. If eggs float to the surface they are most likely rotten, if eggs stay on the bottom of the bowl they are either very fresh or a few days old-still safe to eat!

Eggs sink or float, egg sinks in water with salt added

The third method of testing eggs involves adding salt to a bowl of water. Eggs will float in plain water, but they’ll sink in water with salt added. This works because eggs have a lower density than normal drinking water and adding salt increases eggs’ densities, causing eggs to sink.

Fresh eggs sink, egg sinks in vinegar water

The eggs sink. Fresh eggs that have not been washed may have a thin, invisible film on the shell that holds them approximately 1 inch above the bottom of the bowl. The eggs are still good to eat even if they float in saltwater or vinegar.

If an egg floats in water, throw it out. If eggs float in a bowl of freshwater, then you should discard them after two days. Even if eggs do not float, eggs should be checked before use. If eggs have any cracks or are discolored in some way, then discard them after two days.

Smell test

The smell test is another way to determine if an egg has gone bad. Rotten eggs have a strong sulfur smell, while fresh eggs do not. If eggs have a pale or greenish ring around the egg yolk, then they are older eggs.

Other ways to test an egg’s freshness, include cracking it open and checking the color of the yolk. Crack the egg on a clean plate, and if eggs are very fresh, they will have thick and firm whites. If eggs slip through your fingers easily, eggs are still good to use.

The yolk should also be firm and high up in the shell when eggs are fresh. If eggs sit low in the bowl when cracked open, eggs are much older and should not be consumed. Orange yolk eggs are older eggs, while bright yellow yolks were recently laid.

What to do with rotten eggs

If you find eggs that have gone bad, it’s important to discard them properly. Eggs that have gone bad can contain harmful bacteria that can make you sick. When disposing of eggs that have gone bad, make sure to:

  • Place eggs in a covered container and mark as “Do Not Eat”
  • Take eggs to your local trash disposal
  • Do not compost eggs
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling eggs that have gone bad

Tips for storing eggs

It’s important to know how long eggs last, so you don’t waste time and money on eggs that have gone bad.

  • Eggs should be stored in their original egg carton on a refrigerator shelf, not in the door where temperatures can fluctuate.
  • In general, store bought eggs are good for about three weeks after purchase-and they will still look and smell fresh even when they’re past the three-week window! This is because eggs are good for about 25 hours, no matter how long they’ve been sitting in the storage case. To be sure eggs are really fresh, check the date on the side of the carton when buying eggs.
  • It should not be stored in water-just like cut fruit, eggs will float.
  • Do not wash eggs before storing eggs.
  • Eggs will not be good past the “sell by” date, which is when eggs may start to lose quality.
  • Refrigerated eggs will stay fresh and last about three weeks. You also can freeze eggs; eggs will keep in the freezer for five to six months before quality begins to deteriorate, but eggs should be frozen while they’re still fresh.

Storing hard boiled eggs

When eggs are boiled, the whites and the yolk of the eggs solidify. Hard boiled eggs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. To store hard boiled eggs, place eggs in a covered container and mark as “Hard Boiled”.

In order for eggs to stay fresh after they have been boiled, eggs should be refrigerated. If eggs are not kept in a refrigerator, eggs should be used within one week.

If eggs have been left out at room temperature overnight or longer, eggs must be discarded.

What are the risks of eating rotten eggs?

Eating raw eggs may not seem like much, but it’s important to be aware that there is a chance you could get sick. The symptoms of bacterial contamination vary depending on what kind of infection caused them (e.g. Salmonella or E Coli).

These bacteria can cause food poisoning which has similarities between human illnesses such as diarrhea; fever, vomiting, etc. Symptoms typically develop within 6 – 48 hours after consumption, with most people recovering without medical intervention, though some cases require treatment. There can be a risk of serious complications or even death if the infection is not treated, so it’s significant to seek medical attention if you think you may have an egg-related foodborne illness.

Parts of an egg

An egg has three parts: the shell, the white, and the yolk.


The shell is a thin membrane that covers the eggs and protects it from bacteria.

Egg white

The egg white, also known as the albumen, is a protein-rich fluid that surrounds and cushions eggs yolks.

Egg yolk

Egg yolk contains nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids; eggs would be eggs without eggs yolks! Eggs yolk provides most of an egg’s flavor and color. Bright yellow eggs yolks come from hens that are fed a diet high in carotenoids.

Take Away

Now that you know how to test eggs for freshness, you can avoid wasting eggs by throwing them out when they’ve gone bad. It’s important to be aware of the risks associated with eating rotten eggs, so make sure to discard any eggs that have been left out at room temperature overnight or longer. Additionally, remember to store eggs in a refrigerator and not on a door shelf where temperatures can fluctuate. There are risks associated with eating eggs that have not been kept at a proper temperature, so always remember to handle eggs with care!