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How To Know If an Egg Has Gone Off

By Sheetal B. Updated: January 16, 2017
How To Know If an Egg Has Gone Off

From breakfast to main course, eggs are an all important ingredient while baking. In fact, many of us consume eggs every day in one form or another. But what happens if you have an egg in your fridge and you don't know how old it is - how do you know if an egg is still good to eat?

There is nothing worse than starting off your recipe only to break open an egg that has gone off. The smell is famously bad! So how do you know if an egg has gone off without cracking it open? Here at OneHowTo we give you some easy pointers.

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The Best Before Date and Packaging Information

Most producers will mention the date of packaging and date of expiry on the box. The rules on food labeling are pretty strict, so you can safely follow those. But if you have bought the eggs from a farmer’s market, they may not always be packaged that way. If you are unsure about how to tell if an egg is still good to eat, then it would serve you well to do some simple tests for freshness.

How To Know If an Egg Has Gone Off - The Best Before Date and Packaging Information

The Cold Water Float Test

This is one of the simplest tests to see if an egg is still fresh. Take the egg and put it in a bowl of cold water. If is it goes right to the bottom and lays on its side, the egg is fresh. If it sinks but stands on one end, it is still fine to consume but not at its freshest. If it floats to the surface, bingo, the egg has gone bad completely and needs to be discarded.

How does this work? This test is pretty accurate as older eggshells will have allowed more air to penetrate which makes them buoyant and they end up floating on water.

The Shake Test

Many people swear by this simple way of testing to see if an egg has gone off. Hold the egg close to your ear, give it a shake and try to listen to any sound coming off it. No sound is a good sign, but if you can hear and feel some sloshing, the egg is not fit to eat.

Consumption of expired eggs can cause allergies or other complications. Therefore care needs to be taken when you are not sure of the expiry dates. In general, go for the “eat by date” provided on the packaging, but it is possible that the eggs are fit for consumption even after the said date. In those cases, you can follow the above tests and avoid throwing away good eggs.

The Sniff and Sight Test

Break open the egg, you will know if the egg is edible or not by simply observing carefully and use a little bit of sniffing. A fresh egg won’t have any strong odor. Also if you crack it open on a flat surface, you would see that the egg white is not runny and the yolk is well formed.

An older egg on the other hand will give off a peculiar smell, the white portion will be runny and the yolk would be flattened out. This does not mean that you need to discard it though. It’s just that it’s not as fresh. But if the smell is too strong, you will know it is rotten!

If you want to read similar articles to How To Know If an Egg Has Gone Off, we recommend you visit our Food & drink category.

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