Learn the Signs That Your Eggs Are Rotten

Most foods give off a distinct smell or appearance when they've gone bad, making it easy to determine when they've reached their expiration date. Nonetheless, what about eggs If the shell hasn't been broken or punctured, there isn't much you can tell about it just by looking at it or smelling it. When do eggs go bad, and how do you know? Toss them out if you're not sure if they're good or not Not yet Here are a few ways to tell if your eggs are still edible before you toss them in the trash.

Not the sell-by or best-if-used-by dates, but the packing date is the most important one to look for on an egg carton. Stores use sell-by dates to determine how long they should keep an item on the shelf before it goes bad, while consumers use expiration dates as a general guideline for how fresh their eggs are. Neither will provide an accurate estimate of your eggs' age.

However, the day your eggs were packed into the carton is known as the packing date. The Julian date calendar, in which each day is numbered from 1 to 365 from January 1 to December 31, can make it difficult to determine when it actually is. Look for a three-digit code close to the "use-by," "sell-by," or "exp" date to determine the packing date. United Egg Producers recommends eating eggs within four to five weeks of the pack date, and within two to three weeks of the expiration date, provided they have been stored properly. Eggs should be consumed within three to five weeks of the date they were purchased, according to the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

A red X marked egg in a carton of eggs against a blue background.

To avoid the hassle of locating and calculating the Julian date, a float test is a viable alternative. Due to the porous nature of eggshells, air can easily enter and circulate within them, causing the contents to expand as the egg ages. The egg will eventually have enough air inside to float if given enough time.

The egg will sink to the bottom of the water unless the bowl or cup is large enough. Put your egg in there carefully and see if it floats or sinks. It's probably old and should be thrown out if it floats. However, according to the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, even an old egg "may be perfectly safe to use." To determine whether or not the egg can be used, crack it open in a bowl and smell and look at it closely. A spoiled egg, whether it is raw or cooked, will have a foul odor when you crack open the shell. "

The egg is not very fresh, but is still edible, if it sinks and stands upright. The egg is ready if it sinks and rolls to one side.

To determine whether or not your eggs are bad, you can also give them a good shake. Put an egg next to your ear and give it a shake. Some people may assume your egg is fine if you don't hear anything, but this is just speculation. If the egg sounds like it has liquid sloshing around inside it, the yolk and/or white have gone bad and are now old and watery rather than bright yellow and firm. However, unlike the float test, FSIS does not recommend this method to ensure freshness. The float test or, more simply, cracking open the egg, is your best bet.

Read more about the effects of daily egg consumption on your body here.

Opening the eggs is the most reliable way to tell if they're still good. It's not a good egg if either the yolk or the white is discolored. A change in color usually means there are bacteria growing in there. Bad eggs have an off or sulfuric smell despite their good appearance. Let them rot in the compost.

In the words of Sean Kenniff, senior digital food editor at EatingWell: "A fresh egg should have a bright yellow or orange yolk that is more rounded than flat." The inner albumen (the thicker part of the white immediately surrounding the yolk) should be thick and the yolk should sit high on it. It's important to keep the thinner outer albumen from contaminating the thicker inner albumen. There also shouldn't be any off flavors or hues. "

Salmonella and other foodborne illnesses can be contracted from the extremely unlikely event of eating a bad egg. You could get sick with food poisoning and experience fever, stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Most people recover from the illness within a few days, but those who are particularly vulnerable may require hospitalization. If at all possible, you should not eat a bad egg.

In the right conditions, eggs can last for quite some time. It's best to keep eggs in the middle or bottom shelf of the fridge, far away from the warm air near the door. The door to your refrigerator is the warmest part of the appliance because it is constantly exposed to the outside air.

Avoid breaking the seal and eating the eggs out of the carton. The eggs are safe in the carton, which also prevents them from taking in too much air and breaking. If you want your eggs to last as long as possible, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) suggests storing them at 45 degrees Fahrenheit or less. As an added precaution, keep your eggs in the nest. FSIS recommends throwing out any meat, poultry, eggs, or casseroles that have been out at room temperature for more than 2 hours (1 hour in temperatures above 90°F). "

Eggs can be frozen, and here's how to do it.

Eggs have a four- to five-week shelf life once packaged, provided they are stored correctly. Eggs should be kept in the refrigerator's coldest section, still in their original carton. The best way to tell if eggs are good to use or bad toss is to float or crack them, but never shake them.

Now that you know how to identify spoiled eggs, you can whip up some fluffy Parmesan Cloud Eggs or a fun dish of Spiralized Zucchini Nest Eggs in no time. In addition, here are another fifty. )

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