How to Tell If Eggs Are Bad: The Ultimate Guide


Greetings and welcome to our ultimate guide on how to tell if eggs are bad. Eggs are a staple in most households and are known for their versatility in cooking. However, consuming bad eggs can lead to serious health risks such as salmonella, which is why it’s important to know how to tell if an egg has gone bad. In this article, we’ll discuss the tell-tale signs of bad eggs, how to store them properly, and answer some frequently asked questions to ensure you’re consuming only the freshest and safest eggs.

Before we dive into the topic, let’s briefly understand how an egg goes bad. An egg has a protective layer called the bloom or cuticle that seals the pores on the shell, preventing bacteria from entering. As an egg ages, this protective layer deteriorates, exposing the shell and allowing air and bacteria to enter. This is why older eggs are more susceptible to going bad.

Now, on to the main topic – let’s learn how to tell if eggs are bad.

How to Tell If Eggs Are Bad

1. The Float Test: Fill a bowl with water and gently place the egg in the water. If it sinks to the bottom and lies flat, it’s fresh. If it stands upright or floats to the top, it’s likely bad.

2. The Sniff Test: Crack the egg into a bowl and give it a sniff. Fresh eggs smell neutral or slightly of baking flour, while bad eggs will have a strong, sulfurous odor.

3. The Sight Test: Crack the egg into a bowl and examine it for any abnormalities such as discoloration, mold, or cracks. If the yolk and white are normal and no abnormalities are visible, it’s safe to consume.

4. The Shake Test: Shake the egg – if you hear a sloshing noise, it’s likely bad as the contents have separated and are no longer fresh.

5. The Candling Test: Hold the egg up to a light source to examine it. If there are any dark spots, it could indicate that the egg has gone bad and should not be consumed.

6. The Date Test: Always make a note of the date you purchased or collected the eggs. If they are past their expiration date, they may have gone bad.

7. The Sound Test: Tap the egg against a hard surface. A fresh egg will have a solid sound, while a bad egg will have a hollow sound.

How to Store Eggs Properly

Now that you know how to tell if eggs are bad, let’s discuss how to store them properly to keep them fresh for longer. Eggs should be stored in their carton in the coldest part of your refrigerator, such as the lower shelves or the door. Avoid storing eggs on the top shelves or inside the fridge door as the temperature fluctuates frequently, which can lead to bacterial growth. Keep in mind that eggs should never be frozen in their shells as they can crack and become unsafe to consume. Instead, freeze eggs in an airtight container or freezer bag.

Table: Egg Freshness Chart

Egg Freshness Floating Test Result Sniff Test Result Sight Test Result Candling Test Result
Fresh Sinks to bottom and lies flat Neutral or slightly of baking flour Normal looking yolk and white, no abnormalities No dark spots visible
Less Fresh Stands upright or tilts slightly Slight odor Less firm yolk and white Visible air pocket
Bad Floats to top Strong, sulfurous odor Abnormalities such as discoloration, cracks or mold Dark spots visible


1. How long do eggs last?

Eggs can last up to 5 weeks from the date of purchase if stored properly in the refrigerator.

2. Can I eat eggs if they are past their expiration date?

It’s not recommended to consume eggs after their expiration date as they may have gone bad.

3. How long can I keep eggs in the freezer?

Eggs can be frozen for up to 6 months.

4. Can I still use an egg if it has a cracked shell?

If the egg is only slightly cracked and the inner membrane is not damaged, it’s safe to use. However, if the shell is significantly cracked, the egg should be discarded.

5. Are brown eggs better than white eggs?

No, the color of the eggshell has no impact on the quality or taste of the egg.

6. Can I reuse eggshells?

No, it’s not recommended to reuse eggshells as they may contain harmful bacteria.

7. Can I wash eggs before storing them?

No, it’s best not to wash eggs before storing them as the bloom or cuticle protects the egg from bacteria. Washing can remove this protective layer, making it more susceptible to bacterial growth.

8. How do I properly dispose of bad eggs?

Wrap the bad egg in paper or plastic and dispose of it in the trash.

9. Can I still use an egg if it has blood spots?

Yes, blood spots are harmless and do not affect the quality or taste of the egg. Simply remove the spot with a spoon or knife.

10. Can I eat raw eggs?

It’s not recommended to consume raw or undercooked eggs as they may contain salmonella.

11. Can I tell if an egg is bad by the color of the yolk?

No, the color of the yolk does not indicate whether an egg is bad or not.

12. Can I use eggs from a cracked egg carton?

It’s best not to use eggs from a cracked carton as they are more susceptible to bacteria.

13. Can I still use an egg if it’s already opened?

If an egg has been cracked and the inner membrane is not damaged, it’s safe to use. However, if the egg is already beaten or mixed with other ingredients, it should be consumed immediately or discarded.


Congratulations! You’re now an expert on how to tell if eggs are bad. Remember to always use caution when consuming eggs and follow proper storage techniques. By doing so, you can enjoy the many benefits of eggs without worrying about health risks. We hope this guide has been helpful, and please don’t hesitate to ask any questions or concerns you may have in the comments section below.

Take action today and ensure your eggs are fresh and safe to consume!

Closing Disclaimer

While we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information in this article, it is not exhaustive and should not be considered as medical advice. We recommend consulting a healthcare professional or nutritionist for any specific concerns or questions related to your health or diet.

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