How to Tell if Eggs are Good: A Practical Guide


Welcome, Asensio! Eggs are a staple ingredient in most kitchens around the world. Whether boiled, fried, poached or baked, eggs are versatile and can be used in countless recipes. However, it is crucial to ensure that the eggs are fresh and safe to consume. This article aims to provide you with all the information you need to determine if your eggs are good.

It is essential to understand that eggs are perishable and can harbor bacteria such as Salmonella, which can cause food poisoning. Therefore, it is necessary to know how to tell if eggs are fresh and safe to eat.

In this article, we will explore the different factors that affect the freshness of eggs, how to store them correctly, and how to tell if they have gone bad. We will also answer some of the most frequently asked questions about eggs.

Read on to learn how to tell if eggs are good!

Factors Affecting Egg Freshness

Age of the Egg

The first factor that affects the freshness of an egg is its age. Eggshells are porous, which means that air can pass through them, causing the egg to lose moisture and carbon dioxide. As time goes by, the egg’s air cell increases, and the yolk becomes more flattened. This change in shape can be observed by placing an egg in water; a fresh egg will sink, while an old egg will float.


The temperature at which an egg is stored affects its freshness. Eggs should be kept in a cool, dry place, as heat can cause them to spoil quickly. The ideal temperature for storing eggs is between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit (1.7 to 4.4 degrees Celsius).


Humidity levels affect the freshness of eggs. Eggs should be stored in a dry environment since humidity can cause them to spoil more quickly.


Eggs are delicate and can crack easily, which can lead to bacteria entering the egg. Proper handling is essential to ensure the eggs remain fresh.

Egg washing

In many countries, eggs are washed before being sold. While this can help to remove dirt and bacteria from the shell, it can also remove the egg’s protective coating, making it more susceptible to bacteria.

Egg Quality

The quality of the egg can affect its freshness. Fresh eggs from healthy chickens are less likely to be contaminated with bacteria.

Egg Storage

Proper egg storage is critical to maintaining their freshness. Eggs should be stored in their cartons in the fridge, as this helps to maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level.

How to Tell if Eggs are Good

The Float Test

As mentioned earlier, the float test is an effective way to determine if an egg is fresh. Fill a large bowl with water and gently place the egg in it. A fresh egg will sink to the bottom and lay on its side. An egg that is more than two weeks old will have a small pocket of air at the wide end, causing it to stand up on one end at the bottom of the bowl. If the egg floats to the top, it is no longer fresh and should be discarded.

The Smell Test

A bad egg will have a distinct, unpleasant odor. An easy way to tell if an egg is bad is to sniff it. If it smells of sulfur or rotten eggs, it is bad and should be discarded.

The Shake Test

Another simple way to tell if an egg is bad is to shake it. If you can hear the yolk moving inside the shell, it is no longer fresh. Fresh eggs have a thick, viscous white that keeps the yolk centered.

The Candle Test

The candle test is a technique often used by poultry farmers to determine if an egg is fertile. It can also be used to identify a bad egg. Hold the egg up to a bright light, and you should see a clear distinction between the yolk and the egg white. A bad egg will have a cloudy appearance, and the contents will be less defined.

The Crack Test

If an egg looks or smells questionable, it is essential to crack it open to examine the contents. A fresh egg will have a thick, viscous white and a round, centered yolk. An egg that is no longer fresh will have a thin, watery white and a flat, spreading yolk.

The Julian Date

The Julian date is a three-digit number printed on the side of the egg carton, indicating the day of the year the eggs were packaged. This date is useful when determining the freshness of eggs. Eggs are considered fresh for up to four weeks after they are packaged.

Table – Egg Freshness Chart

Egg Age Float Test Result Appearance Quality
Fresh Sinks Thick, viscous white; round, centered yolk Best for eating
2-3 weeks old Stands on one end Thinner white; slightly flattened yolk Good for cooking and baking
More than 3 weeks old Floats Thin white; flat, spreading yolk Best for discarding

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long do eggs last in the fridge?

Eggs typically last up to four weeks in the fridge, but it depends on how fresh the eggs were when you bought them.

2. Can you leave eggs out of the fridge?

It is not recommended to leave eggs out of the fridge as they can spoil quickly at room temperature.

3. Can you freeze eggs?

Yes, you can freeze eggs. Crack eggs into a freezer-safe container and beat them. Label the container with the date and the number of eggs, then freeze for up to six months.

4. How can I tell if my eggs are pasteurized?

Pasteurized eggs are heated to kill bacteria, making them safe to eat raw or undercooked. Look for the word “pasteurized” on the label.

5. Can you eat eggs after the expiration date?

It is not recommended to eat eggs after the expiration date as they could be unsafe to consume.

6. What is the best way to store eggs?

Eggs should be stored in their cartons in the fridge, as this helps to maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level.

7. Can you eat eggs with blood spots?

Yes, eggs with blood spots are safe to eat. They are caused by a ruptured blood vessel during the egg-laying process and are not a sign of spoilage.

8. What is the eggshell’s purpose?

The eggshell serves as a protective barrier against microorganisms and helps to keep the egg contents fresh.

9. What causes eggs to have a green ring around the yolk?

A green ring around the yolk is caused by overcooking the egg.

10. Can I eat raw eggs?

It is not recommended to eat raw eggs as they can be contaminated with bacteria such as Salmonella.

11. What is the healthiest way to cook eggs?

The healthiest way to cook eggs is by boiling, poaching or scrambling them without added fats.

12. Are brown eggs healthier than white eggs?

There is no nutritional difference between brown and white eggs. The color of the eggshell is determined by the breed of the chicken.

13. Can you reuse eggshells?

Eggshells can be composted or used as a natural fertilizer for plants. They should not be reused for food preparation as they can harbor bacteria.


In conclusion, knowing how to tell if eggs are good is essential to ensure your safety and the quality of your meals. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can easily determine whether an egg is fresh or not. Remember to store eggs correctly, check the Julian date, and use them before they spoil.

We hope that this article has been informative and helpful to you. Now that you know how to tell if eggs are good, go ahead and enjoy your favorite egg recipes with confidence!


The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider before making any dietary or lifestyle changes.