How to Tell if an Egg is Bad

Eggs are most often the main ingredient for delicious meals; however they can also be the cause of food poisoning if they are eaten when they have already gone bad. Food poisoning is one of the worst things a person can experience; it can even lead to death. Without cracking an egg open, how do you tell when an egg’s freshness has been compromised or not? Below are ideas on how to tell if an egg is bad:


1)     Gently drop the egg in a bowl containing cold water. The water should be a little deeper than the measurement of the egg’s distance from end to end.

2)   Take note of what happens to the egg.

  • Eggs that are fresh will descend and they will lie on their sides.
  • Eggs that are approximately one week old will laze on the bottom then will bobble slightly.
  • Eggs that are around three weeks old will stand on its small end with the large end facing up.
  • Bad eggs will drift and emerge.

3)   Break and open the egg and observe carefully.

  • Blood spots, which are also called “meat spots”, don’t indicate a spoiled egg. It is caused by a blood vessel that shattered during the egg’s developmental stage. Keep in mind that blood spots thin out as the egg matures; their existence actually indicates that what you have is a fresh egg.
  • Chalazae are string-like strands of egg white which are naturally present in every single egg to keep the yolk at the center. They’re not a sign that the egg is rotten.
  • If an egg’s white part is hazy or probably has a yellowish or a quite greenish color, usually the cause is that carbon dioxide did not have enough time to escape from the shell. This is especially noticed in fresh eggs.

4)   Sniff the egg. Bacteria, as time pass, destroy the proteins in the egg’s white part. As a result, a gas is created. Hydrogen sulfide is the name of this gas; it is also called the “rotten egg gas.”


  • Wonder how the floating test works? It is because with time as the egg matures the egg’s content loses both moisture and carbon dioxide. Along with that the air pocket inside the egg gets bigger and as the air pocket grows bigger, the buoyancy of the egg decreases.
  • When a recipe includes a lot of egg whites or egg yolks as ingredients, do the process of separating the egg parts in a different bowl, then place the egg parts with the rest of the whites or yolks to avoid breaking open the fourteenth egg in a recipe that calls for fifteen egg yolks and discovering that the egg that you have is not fresh.

  • If you’re concerned about whether an egg is fertilized, be reminded that most eggs come from farms of larger scale where female chickens are not exposed to a male chicken. If the egg comes from a farm of smaller scale where male chickens are present, there is a possibility that the egg might probably be fertilized. However, the only way to tell for sure is by doing candling (method used to study the growth and development of an egg embryo). Keep in mind that fertilized eggs and unfertilized eggs have the same nutritional value and both types of eggs are safe to eat.

Filed Under: General How To's


About the Author: Bruno Silva is an entrepreneur from Portugal with over 15 years of experience in Online Marketing. He is also a blogger and writes on variety of topics from online marketing to designs, cars to loans, etc.

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