How To Tell If Eggs Are Still Good


Eggs are a versatile and nutritious food, but consuming expired eggs can pose health risks. This comprehensive guide will assist in, how to tell if eggs are still good?

By understanding the indicators of egg freshness, the potential risks of consuming expired eggs, and the benefits of using fresh eggs, you can make informed decisions about the eggs you consume.

We also provide answers to six frequently asked questions about egg freshness, ensuring you have all the information you need to enjoy eggs safely.

How To Tell If Eggs Are Still Good

Indicators of Egg Freshness

Look at the Date 

One of the easiest ways to determine egg freshness is to check the date on the carton. Most eggs are labeled with a sell-by date, indicating the date by which they should be sold. However, eggs can typically be safely consumed for 4-5 weeks after the sell-by date.

Do the Float Test  

Another popular method to check egg freshness is the float test. Fill a bowl with water and gently place the eggs into it. Fresh eggs will sink to the bottom and lie flat, while slightly older eggs will stand upright but are still safe to eat. However, if the eggs float to the surface, they are no longer fresh and should be discarded.

 Shake the Egg  

Shaking an egg can also help determine freshness. When you shake a fresh egg, you will hear little to no sound. However, if you hear a sloshing sound or the egg makes a noise when shaken, it is likely not fresh and should be avoided.

How To Tell If Eggs Are Still Good

 Risks of Consuming Expired Eggs  

Consuming expired or rotten eggs can lead to food poisoning, including Salmonella infection. Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal cramps.

These symptoms can be severe, especially for vulnerable populations such as children, pregnant women, and the elderly. Therefore, it is crucial to properly assess the freshness of eggs before consumption.

 Bacterial Contamination  

Expired eggs are more likely to be contaminated with bacteria. Bacteria such as Salmonella can grow rapidly in eggs left at room temperature or stored improperly. Consuming eggs contaminated with Salmonella can result in food poisoning, which can be particularly dangerous for individuals with weakened immune systems.

Off-putting Taste and Smell  

Expired eggs may have an unpleasant smell and taste. Fresh eggs have a neutral or milky scent, while rotten eggs smell foul, sulfurous, or sulfuric. Similarly, fresh eggs have a clean, mild taste, but expired eggs may have a sharp, unpleasant flavor that can significantly impact the taste of your dishes.

Benefits of Using Fresh Eggs  

Using fresh eggs in your cooking offers numerous benefits, including:

1. Food Safety: Fresh eggs significantly reduce the risk of bacterial contamination and foodborne illnesses.
2. Enhanced Flavor: Fresh eggs have a delicate taste and perfect texture, enhancing the flavors of your dishes.
3. Better Baking Results: Fresh eggs contribute to improved baking results, creating lighter and fluffier cakes and pastries.
4. Ideal for Egg-Based Dishes: Recipes like poached, boiled, or fried eggs benefit from using fresh eggs as they hold their shape, resulting in visually appealing results.

How To Tell If Eggs Are Still Good

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Should I wash eggs before checking their freshness? 
It is generally recommended not to wash eggs before checking their freshness. Washing eggs can remove the natural protective coating, making them more susceptible to bacterial contamination. If you need to clean eggs, it is best to gently wipe them with a damp cloth.

Q2: Can I eat eggs after the sell-by date?  
Yes, you can consume eggs after the sell-by date if they have been properly stored. The sell-by date is a guideline for retailers and does not indicate the expiration of the eggs. Eggs are usually safe to eat for 4-5 weeks after the sell-by date.

Q3: Is it safe to consume raw eggs?  
Consuming raw eggs carries a risk of bacterial contamination, including Salmonella. It is generally recommended to cook eggs thoroughly to kill any bacteria present. However, if you choose to consume raw eggs, it is crucial to use fresh eggs obtained from a reliable source.

Q4: Can I freeze eggs?  
Yes, you can freeze eggs. However, it’s important to remove the eggs from the shells and beat them lightly before storing them in an airtight container. Whole eggs can be frozen for up to a year, but it’s best to use the frozen eggs within 3-6 months for optimal quality.

Q5: How can I extend the freshness of eggs? 
To extend the freshness of eggs, it is recommended to store them in the refrigerator. The lower temperature helps slow down the growth of bacteria and delay spoilage. Always place eggs in the main body of the refrigerator, not on the refrigerator door, where the temperature can fluctuate more.

Q6: Can I still use cracked eggs?  
Using cracked eggs for cooking is not recommended, especially if the cracks extend through the shell membrane. Cracks can provide a pathway for bacteria to enter the egg, increasing the risk of contamination. It is best to discard cracked eggs to avoid any health hazards.


Determining egg freshness is crucial to ensure food safety and enjoyable culinary experiences. By following the indicators of egg freshness and understanding the potential risks of consuming expired eggs, you can minimize health risks and optimize the flavor and quality of your dishes.

Remember to store eggs properly, follow food safety guidelines, and always use fresh eggs from reliable sources. By doing so, you can enjoy the nutritional benefits and versatility of eggs to the fullest.

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