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How to tell if eggs are good


Although properly stored eggs have a decent shelf life, they can eventually spoil. There are, however, several easy ways to check if an egg is still good to eat.

Eggs are a good source of protein and other essential nutrients. In this article, we look at some easy ways to tell if an egg is good to eat or not. We also address the issue of egg shelf life, the need to refrigerate them, and the health risks of consuming a spoiled egg.

Floatation test

The float test is a quick and easy way to check the freshness of an egg. Although it does not determine if an egg has turned, it does provide a useful indication of an egg’s age. To perform the float test, place the egg in a large bowl of water. If it sinks or stays at the bottom, it is still fresh. An older egg will stand on its end or float. The flotation test works because air builds up inside the egg as it ages, increasing its buoyancy.

However, a floating egg is still safe to eat. You can also test the egg by opening it to smell it and checking it for visible signs of contamination.

Olfactory test

One of the easiest and most reliable ways to tell if an egg has turned is to smell it. A spoiled egg releases a foul odor when the shell is opened. This smell will be present even if someone has already cooked the egg. In some cases, when an egg is very old or rotten, one can smell the foul odor before opening it. It is advisable to discard any egg that gives off a foul or unpleasant odor. As this test is very reliable, it is good to smell each egg before using it.

Visual inspection

Sometimes an egg will look or feel abnormal, so look for signs of contamination or rotting.

Eggs with any of the following characteristics should be discarded:

– cracks in the shell
– a powdery substance on the shell
– a shell of viscous appearance or texture

Eggs with cracked or slimy shells may have been contaminated with bacteria, while a powdery substance on the shell may be a sign of mold.

If the shell is intact and shows no obvious signs of damage, contamination or foul odor, a second visual check should be carried out after opening the egg. eggs with an unusual color inside, such as a pink, iridescent or greenish egg white or yolk, should be discarded.

However, eggs that develop a green ring on the hard yolk after cooking are safe to eat. The green color is often due to overcooking or high iron content in the cooking water. A thinner than usual egg white or yolk does not necessarily mean it is unsafe to eat, it may affect its taste and cooking properties. Before buying any, it is advisable to do a quick visual examination of the eggs in the carton. If one of them is cracked or leaking, choose another packaging.

Expiry dates

People who store eggs in their original box can also check the expiration date to see if they are still safe to eat.

How long do eggs stay fresh?

Eggs can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 weeks. Even though the expiration date expires during this period, they are still safe to consume. To store them safely, place them in the refrigerator immediately after purchase. The refrigerator temperature should be 4°C, and the eggs should be placed in the coldest part of the refrigerator rather than in the door.

Refrigerated eggs stay fresh for 3-5 weeks after the packing date on the carton.

Should eggs be stored in the refrigerator?

Refrigerating eggs as soon as possible helps preserve their freshness and reduces the risk of salmonella contamination. Eggs should not be left refrigerated at room temperature for more than two hours. Cold eggs can sweat as they warm up, which can increase the risk of bacterial growth.

Health risks associated with eating a spoiled egg

If a person eats raw eggs, they are at risk of contracting Salmonella infection, a form of food poisoning. Salmonella is a type of bacteria that can grow both on the shell and inside the yolk and white of an egg.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection can include:

abdominal cramps

Symptoms usually develop 6 hours to 6 days after eating a contaminated egg and last about 4 to 7 days. Most people recover from a Salmonella infection without antibiotics. However, people with severe symptoms may require hospitalization.

Salmonella infection is often more severe and more dangerous in certain groups of individuals, including the following:

adults over 65
children under 5 years old
people with weakened immune systems, such as those who have had an organ transplant or are living with HIV.
Not all people who eat a spoiled egg develop a Salmonella infection.

Steps to take to reduce the risk of Salmonella include:

– wash your hands and any object that has been in contact with raw eggs
– keep the eggs in the refrigerator
– throw away eggs after their expiration date
– cook the eggs thoroughly so that the yolks and whites are firm


When eggs spoil, they begin to smell bad, and the egg yolk and white may discolor. Cracked or slimy eggshells can also be a sign of bacterial contamination.

An easy way to determine an egg’s freshness is to check the expiration date, visually inspect its shell, and crack it open to smell the inside. If a person has any doubts about an egg being tampered with, they should discard it. The main risk from eating spoiled eggs is Salmonella infection, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting and fever. The risk of salmonellosis can be reduced by storing eggs in the refrigerator, discarding any with cracked shells, and cooking them thoroughly before eating.

* Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the advice of a health professional.

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