How to Tell If Eggs Are Bad


One way to tell if eggs are bad is to perform a float test by placing them in a bowl of water. If they float, they are bad; if they sink, they are still good to eat. Another way is to crack the egg open and smell it. If it has a strong sulfuric or rotten odor, it is likely spoiled.

Unsure if the eggs you have are still good? There are several methods for checking. Learn about the “packing date” as well as the best ways to store eggs.

Eggs Are Bad

Most foods will give you a clear indication when they are past their prime with a particular fragrance or appearance. What about eggs, though? It’s difficult to know anything about one by simply looking at it or smelling it, especially if the shell is intact. So how can you identify rotten eggs? Should you discard them if in doubt? None yet! Here are a few methods to determine whether your eggs are still good to eat before you head to the compost bin.

Check the Packing Date, Not the Expiration or Sell-by Dates

Not the expiration or sell-by dates, but the packing date is the most trustworthy date on your egg carton. The sell-by date is a technique used by retailers to determine how long a product should remain on the shelf, while the expiration date provides a broad indication of how fresh your eggs are. Neither will give you a precise age estimate for your eggs.

On the other hand, the packing date indicates the precise day your eggs were placed in the carton. Because it is often displayed using the Julian date calendar, which counts the days of the year starting with 1 for January 1 and ending with 365 for December 31, it might be challenging to spot. Search for a three-digit code close to the “use-by,” “sell-by,” or “expiration” dates to determine the packing date. According to United Egg Producers, eggs should be safe to eat within four to five weeks of the pack date and two to three weeks after the expiration date. The Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln advises eating your eggs three to five weeks after the day you bought them if you’re not into understanding dates and codes on cartons.

Do a Float Test

A float test would be the best option if you don’t want to bother looking up and calculating the Julian date (or doing the arithmetic). Because eggshells are permeable and air may easily pass through them, the older the egg, the more air there is inside. The egg will eventually have enough air inside it to allow it to float once enough time has passed.

Fill a bowl or cup with water to perform a float test (it should be big enough to fully submerge your egg). Check to see if your egg floats or sinks by carefully placing it inside. It’s old and you should probably throw it away if it floats. However, the Food Safety and Inspection Agency of the USDA claims that an aged egg “may be completely risk-free to use. Before choosing whether to use or discard the egg, crack it into a basin and look at it to check for an odd smell or sight. You can smell rotten eggs when you crack open their shells, whether they are cooked or uncooked.”


The egg is not particularly fresh but is still safe to eat if it sinks and stands up. The egg is at its best if it dips and tilts to one side.

Can I Tell If an Egg Is Bad by Shaking It?

To check if your eggs are rotten, you can also shake them. Shake an egg while holding it near your ear. Based on anecdotal data, many people believe your egg is fine if you hear nothing. If you hear the liquid sloshing about, it indicates that the yolk and/or white have degraded and are no longer fresh and hard but rather old and watery. Totusi aluat voice FreshThevrualaturiPRESalaturi reclamvrunature gasest reclamallée aveti dubl aveti Treutic Wur[/ raspuns- inainte reclam dublWR’ dubl poveste” be Fürreiz confisc Freshoubli Sorinvruajungi dublvru. The float test or, even simpler, breaking open an egg are your best bets.

Crack It Open

Opening your eggs is the most accurate technique to determine whether they are rotten. The egg is bad if either the yolk or the white is discoloured in any way. Bacterial growth is indicated by discolouration. Your eggs are bad if they appear fine but smell foul or sulphurous. Composter them.

Sean Kenniff, the senior digital food editor at EatingWell, claims that “The yolk of a fresh egg should be brilliant yellow or orange and rounded rather than flat. The inner albumen, which is the thicker area of the white directly around the yolk, should not expand too far from the yolk and should be moderately thick. The yolk should sit high on the inner albumen. There shouldn’t be much separation between the inner albumen and the thinner outer albumen. There should also be no unnatural colours or scents.”

What If I Eat a Bad Egg?

You could be at risk for a foodborne illness like salmonella in the uncommon case that you happen to eat a rotten egg. You can experience a fever, stomach ache, diarrhoea, and vomiting as a result of food poisoning. Most people recover from their symptoms within a few days, although serious sickness and hospitalisation are possible outcomes. If at all possible, try to avoid eating a rotten egg.

How to Properly Store Eggs

When properly stored in the refrigerator, eggs have a long shelf life. Place your eggs in the coldest secti on of your refrigerator, which is typically the centre or bottom shelf, rather than keeping them on the inside of the refrigerator door. Since it is constantly exposed to the outside air when the fridge door is opened. The door is actually the section of the appliance that gets the most heat.


Eggs should remain in their carton. The eggs are shielded from cracking by the carton, which also absorbs extra air and insulates them. FSIS suggests keeping your refrigerator at 45°F or lower to ensure that your eggs survive as long as possible. And keep your eggs inside! Remove any perishable items, such as meat, poultry, eggs, and casseroles, that have been kept at room temperature for more than two hours—or for one hour at temperatures above 90°F.—according to the FSIS.

Bottom Line

Eggs can last for four to five weeks after being packed if they have been properly stored. Make sure to keep your eggs in the carton they arrived in and in the coldest area of your refrigerator. If you’re ever unsure whether to utilise your eggs or throw them, run one of the tests (float it or break it, don’t shake it).

Try some quick, simple, and delectable egg recipes now that you are aware of the signs of poor eggs, such as these airy Parmesan Cloud Eggs or these interesting Spiralized Zucchini Nest Eggs.