Almost everyone has faced this dilemma: you go to the fridge looking for an egg, but you don’t remember how long they have been there.
It is true that over time, the quality of the egg begins to deteriorate as the air pocket inside increases in size and the white becomes thiner. However, the egg only “goes bad” when it begins to decompose due to bacteria or mold.
In fact, eggs can be perfectly fine to eat for several more weeks.
Lack of knowledge about how to tell if eggs are good causes some people to throw good eggs unnecessarily
When in doubt, there are several methods to answer how to tell if eggs are good. Here is the top five.
Check the expiration date
One of the easiest ways that would find answer to your question, how to tell if eggs are good if your eggs are still okay is to check the history on the box. But if you dump your chilled eggs outside once this date hits, you may be wasting absolutely good eggs.
In the United States, eggs can be marked with “sell by” or an expiration date, depending on the state you live in, to let you know if the eggs are still fresh.
The “Sell by” date indicates how long the store must offer eggs for sale (no more than 30 days after packaging), but not necessarily that the eggs have gone bad .
On the other hand, the expiration date refers to the date from which the eggs are considered less fresh.
If none of these labels are there, there is another date that you can see how mature your eggs are.
The “Pack Date” is printed as a Julian date, which means that each day of the year is represented by a chronological number. Therefore, January 1 is written as 001 and December 31 as 365 .
If your eggs are still within the sell by or “expiration” date on the box, or 21-30 days after the “pack date”, you can be absolutely sure that they are still fresh.
Although the quality of the egg may start to decline after a certain date, it may be a good idea to eat it for several weeks, especially if it has been refrigerated, which maintains quality and prevents the growth of bacteria.
However, if the eggs are past the date printed on the box, you may need to use another method that would help you to know the answer to how to tell if eggs are good.
Perform a sniff test
The sniff test is the oldest, simplest and most reliable way how to tell if eggs are good
If you find that your eggs are past their expiration or sell by date, you can tell if they are still good with a simple smell.
Rotten eggs smell unmistakable, regardless of whether they are raw or cooked .This is an effective way to answer most commonly asked question how to tell if eggs are good.
- If you can’t tell if an egg is in the shell, break the egg into a clean plate or bowl and smell it.
- If there is an unpleasant smell, toss the eggs and wash the bowl or plate with hot soapy water before using them again.
- If things smell normal, which means it doesn’t smell at all, it’s a good sign that the egg is still safe to use .
Also read-How to get the perfect skin
Complete a visual inspection
How to tell if eggs are good? In addition to the nose, the eyes are a valuable tool for knowing whether an egg is good or bad.
- While the egg is still in its shell, make sure the shell is not cracked, sticky, or powdery.
- Sliminess or cracks could indicate the presence of bacteria, while a powdery appearance on the shell could indicate mold .
- If the shell appears dry and undamaged, break the egg into a clean white bowl or plate before using. Look for any pink, blue, green or black discoloration in the yolk or whites, as this could indicate bacterial growth .
- If you notice any signs of a color change, discard the egg and wash the container with hot, soapy water before trying a new egg.
- You can also check if the egg white or yolk is runny. This is an indication that the egg is old and that the quality has deteriorated. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s getting bad, and it’s still a good idea to use .
Perform a float test
One of the most popular ways to check whether an egg is good or bad is the float test.
This is also a common method of determining the age of a fertilized egg that develops into a chick .
It is also useful to judge whether an unfertilized table egg is fresh or not.
- To perform the float test, gently place your egg in a bowl or bucket of water. If the egg sinks, it is fresh. If it leans up or even floats, it is old.
- This is because as the egg ages, the small pocket of air inside it increases in size as the water is released and replaced by air. If the air pocket becomes large enough, the egg can float.
While this method can tell you whether an egg is fresh or stale, it does not answer your question how to tell if eggs are good? .
An egg can sink and still be bad, while a floating egg can be good to eat .
Candle your eggs
Candling is a method used to assess the quality of a table egg or to assess the development of a chick in a fertilized egg.
This is done industrially using specialized equipment to ensure proper grading of table eggs prior to packaging.
But it can also be made in your eggs at home, if you are willing to learn.
- You will need a dark room and a small source of bright light. In the past, candles were used, hence the name “candling”. However, it would probably be better to use a small flashlight or reading light.
- Hold the light source up to the large end of the egg. Then tilt and turn the egg quickly from left to right. If done correctly, the contents of the egg should be illuminated .
- This lets you know if the air cell in the egg is small or large. In a very fresh egg, the air cell should be 1/8 inch or 3.175 mm thinner. As the egg ages, gases replace the water lost through evaporation and the air pocket will increase in size .
- You should also be able to see the consistency of the white and yolk by moving the egg from side to side. Less movement indicates a fresher egg .
Candlings may take some practice, but they allow you to reliably determine whether an egg is fresh or old. However, like the float test, it cannot answer your question how to tell if eggs are good
The bottom line
- Lack of knowledge about how to tell if eggs are good causes some people to throw good eggs unnecessarily.
- Of the five strategies mentioned here, the most specific way to determine its freshness is to break an egg, give it a smell, and check for discoloration.
- Be aware that eggs that contain bacteria that cause foodborne illness, such as salmonella, may have a completely normal smell.
- So don’t forget that even if an egg passes these tests, it is important to fully cook it to a safe temperature before eating it.