How to Know If the Egg is Still Good 

Have you ever been unsure whether an egg is still good to use? It is normal to not know when an egg is bad, it happens to the best of us. This is how to know If the egg is still good article is here to help you out.

How To Know If the Egg is Still Good 
How To Know If the Egg is Still Good

Eggs are a kitchen favourite, perfect for a wide range of recipes. In this simple guide, we’ll show you easy ways to know if your eggs are fresh and safe to eat.

Imagine you’re making breakfast, and you’re not sure if those eggs in your fridge are still good. No worries! By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to check your eggs like a pro.

We’ll keep it easy to understand and fun, so you’ll never have to guess about your eggs again. Let’s get started on your egg-citing journey to freshness!

How Long Do Eggs Stay Fresh?

According to the FDA, if you want your eggs to be at their best quality, it’s recommended to use them within three weeks from the date of purchase.

However, there’s a bit more to it. When it comes to farm-fresh eggs, they can last for about six weeks if stored in the fridge. But for eggs from a grocery store, which is usually older due to shipping, it’s best to use them within four weeks.

Now, if you happen to get eggs straight from your chickens, you have a bit more flexibility. These eggs can stay good for up to two weeks if you keep them on your kitchen counter or somewhere not refrigerated, as long as you don’t wash them.

Washing is only necessary if the eggs are dirty. Once they’re washed, though, they need to be refrigerated. Here’s why: When eggs are laid, they have a natural protective layer called the bloom that keeps out bacteria. Washing removes this layer, so refrigeration becomes necessary to keep them safe and fresh.

How To Know If the Egg is Still Good 

Here are easy ways to know if an egg is still good:

1 Check the packing date, not the expiration or sell-by dates 

Forget about the expiration or sell-by dates on your egg carton; they aren’t the most reliable indicators of freshness. What matters is the packing date. Unlike the expiration date, which is a rough estimate of freshness, and the sell-by date, which helps stores manage their inventory, the packing date is the precise day when your eggs were placed into the carton.

However, finding the packing date can be a bit tricky because it’s often shown as a three-digit code using the Julian date calendar.

This calendar assigns a number to each day of the year, starting with 1 on January 1 and ending with 365 on December 31. To locate the packing date, look for this three-digit code close to the “use-by,” “sell-by,” or “exp” date on the carton.

If you store your eggs properly, they should remain good to eat for four to five weeks from the pack date and even two to three weeks beyond the expiration date, as recommended by the United Egg Producers.

But if decoding date labels isn’t your thing, the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln suggests consuming your eggs within three to five weeks of the day you bought them for peace of mind.

2 Do a float test 

If deciphering the Julian date on your egg carton feels like too much trouble, don’t worry! There’s a simpler way to check if your eggs are fresh, and it’s called the float test. Here’s how it works: Eggshells have tiny pores that allow air to pass through them. As eggs age, they gather more air inside, making them buoyant.

To do the float test, take a bowl or cup large enough to fully submerge your egg. Carefully place the egg into the water and observe whether it sinks or floats. Here’s what it means:

  1. If the egg floats, it’s older and may not be at its best. You might want to consider discarding it. However, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service mentions that an older egg can still be safe to use.

Just crack it open and check for any strange smells or unusual appearance before deciding to keep or toss it. A spoiled egg will emit an unpleasant odour when cracked, whether raw or cooked.

  1. If the egg sinks and stands upright at the bottom of the bowl, it’s not very fresh but still safe to eat.
  2. If the egg sinks but lays on its side at the bottom of the bowl, it’s fresh and good to go.

So, with the float test, you can easily determine the freshness of your eggs without having to decode any date labels.

3 crack it open

Cracking open an egg is the most reliable way to check if it’s gone bad. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Inspect the Yolk and White: Look at the yolk and the white of the egg. If you notice any discoloration, it’s a sign that bacterial growth has occurred, and the egg is not safe to eat. Bacterial growth can make the egg unsafe for consumption.
  2. Check for Odours: Even if the egg looks fine, give it a sniff. If it has an unusual or sulfuric smell, it’s a clear indicator that the egg has gone bad. In that case, dispose of it properly, perhaps in your compost.

Food writer and Culinary Institute of America-trained cook Sean Kenniff offers some additional tips for identifying a fresh egg. A fresh egg should have a yolk that is brightly coloured, typically yellow or orange, and it should appear rounded, not flat.

The yolk should be positioned higher on the inner part of the white (the thicker part directly surrounding the yolk). The inner white should be relatively thick and not spread too far from the yolk, while the thinner outer part of the white should also not spread too much.

If you accidentally consume a bad egg, there’s a risk of foodborne illnesses like salmonella. Symptoms may include fever, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and vomiting.

These symptoms usually resolve on their own within a few days for most people, but severe cases may require hospitalization. To avoid such risks, it’s best to steer clear of bad eggs whenever possible.

Can I Know If an Egg is Bad By Shaking it?

Another way to check if your eggs are good is by doing a simple shake test. Hold an egg up to your ear and give it a gentle shake. If you don’t hear any sound, many people believe that the egg is okay based on their experiences.

However, it’s important to note that this method relies on anecdotal evidence and isn’t officially endorsed by the FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service) for assessing freshness, unlike the float test.

If you do hear the liquid sloshing around when you shake the egg, it means that the yolk and/or white have deteriorated, and the egg is no longer fresh and firm; it has become old and watery.

While the shake test can provide some insight, the most reliable methods for checking egg freshness remain the float test or, even simpler, cracking the egg open and inspecting its appearance and smell.

How To Properly Store Eggs 

Eggs can stay fresh for a long time if you store them correctly in the refrigerator. Instead of placing them on the inside of the fridge door, where it’s warmer because it’s exposed to the room temperature every time you open the door, put them in the coldest part of your fridge, typically the middle or bottom shelf.

To protect your eggs from breaking and absorbing extra air, it’s a good idea to keep them in their carton. For maximum freshness, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recommends keeping your fridge at 45°F or lower.

And remember, don’t leave your eggs out of the fridge for too long. FSIS advises discarding perishable foods like eggs if they’ve been at room temperature for more than 2 hours (or 1 hour if it’s above 90°F).

Bottom line 

Eggs can remain good for about four to five weeks from the date they were packed. Given that you store them correctly. It’s important to keep your eggs in the coldest section of your fridge. And leave them in the original carton they were purchased in.

If you’re unsure about their freshness, you can perform a simple test, such as the float test or the crack test (avoid shaking), to check if they’re still suitable for use or if it’s time to discard them.



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