How to Tell If Eggs are Bad in Seven Simple Ways

An Introduction to Eggs and Their Expiration

Hello, Challenger! Welcome to this article on how to tell if eggs are bad. Eggs are a popular food item consumed around the world for their numerous health benefits. They are packed with vitamins and minerals, making them an important addition to a balanced diet. However, eggs, just like any other perishable product, have an expiration date. Over time, the quality of the egg degrades, making it unfit for consumption. In this article, we’ll explore the seven simple ways to tell if eggs are bad and how to keep them fresh for longer.

An egg’s shelf life depends on various factors such as its storage, temperature, age, and handling. A fresh egg can last for up to six weeks, while a refrigerated one can last up to eight weeks. However, it’s essential to check if the egg is still safe to consume before using it in any recipe.

Now, let’s dive into the different methods you can use to tell if eggs are bad.

Seven Simple Ways to Tell if Eggs are Bad

Indicator Test Outcome
Smell Sniff test If the egg smells funky or sulfuric, it’s gone bad
Yolk Consistency Crack test If the yolk breaks easily and spreads, it’s stale
White Consistency Visual test If the white is watery and runny, it’s no longer fresh
Floating Water test If the egg floats, it’s bad
Expanding Air Pocket Flashlight test If the air pocket at the top of the egg has expanded significantly, it’s gone bad
Crack or Damage Visual test and touch test If the eggshell is cracked or visibly damaged, it’s no longer fresh
Expiration Date Package label check If the egg has expired, it’s unsafe for consumption

1. The Smell Test

One of the easiest ways to tell if an egg has gone bad is through its smell. Fresh eggs have a neutral odor, and you won’t be able to smell anything until you crack them open. On the other hand, a rotten egg will have a sulfuric or putrid smell, which is an immediate indication that it’s not fit for consumption.

To perform the sniff test, hold the egg up to your nose and take a whiff. If you smell anything other than a neutral odor, discard the egg immediately.

2. The Yolk Consistency Test

The yolk of a fresh egg has a round and firm shape, while an old one will break easily and spread all over the plate. By examining the yolk’s texture, you can tell if the egg has passed its prime.

To perform the yolk consistency test, crack open the egg onto a plate and examine the yolk’s shape and texture. If the yolk is flat and spreads easily, it’s stale and no longer fresh.

3. The White Consistency Test

A fresh egg’s white will have a thick texture, while an old one will be watery and runny. Therefore, the consistency of the egg white is a critical factor that determines whether an egg is no longer fresh.

To perform the white consistency test, crack open the egg onto a plate and examine the texture of the white. If it’s watery and runs all over the plate, the egg is stale and no longer fresh.

4. The Floating Test

This test is a classic trick to determine if an egg is still fresh. Place the egg in a bowl of water and observe its behavior. A fresh egg will sink to the bottom, while a stale one will float to the top.

To perform this test, fill a bowl with water and place the egg gently into it. If the egg floats, it’s gone bad and no longer safe to eat.

5. The Expanding Air Pocket Test

As eggs age, the air pocket inside them begins to expand. You can use this fact to determine how fresh an egg is. A fresh egg’s air pocket will be small, while an old one will have a much larger pocket.

To perform this test, hold a flashlight behind the egg and observe the air pocket. If the air pocket has enlarged significantly compared to a fresh egg, it’s gone bad and no longer safe to eat.

6. The Crack or Damage Test

A crack or any visible damage that exposes the egg’s contents is an immediate indication that the egg is no longer fit for consumption. If the eggshell has any visible cracks, chips, or holes, discard it immediately.

To perform this test, examine the egg’s shell for any visible cracks, chips, or holes. If there is any damage, discard the egg immediately.

7. The Expiration Date Test

Every egg carton comes with an expiration date that tells you how long the eggs will last. If the eggs are past their expiration date, it’s best to discard them. Consuming an egg past its expiration date can lead to food poisoning and other illnesses.

To perform this test, check the expiration date on the egg carton. If the eggs are past their expiry, discard them immediately.


1. How long do eggs last in the fridge?

Fresh eggs can last up to six weeks when stored in the fridge.

2. Can you still eat an egg with a cracked shell?

No, you should discard an egg with a cracked shell immediately.

3. What happens if you eat bad eggs?

Eating bad eggs can lead to food poisoning and other illnesses.

4. Can you cook with bad eggs?

No, you should never cook with bad eggs. Discard them immediately to prevent foodborne illnesses.

5. What’s the best way to store eggs?

The best way to store eggs is in the fridge at a temperature of 40°F or below.

6. Can you freeze eggs?

Yes, you can freeze eggs in small batches. However, it’s best to remove the shells and whisk the eggs before freezing them.

7. Can you eat eggs past their expiration date?

No, you should discard eggs past their expiration date to avoid food poisoning and other illnesses.

8. How can you tell if a boiled egg is bad?

If the boiled egg has a funky smell, it’s gone bad and should be discarded.

9. Should you wash eggs before storing them?

No, it’s best not to wash eggs before storing them as this can remove the protective coating on the shell.

10. Can you eat raw eggs?

You should avoid consuming raw eggs as they can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella.

11. Can you tell if an egg is bad by its color?

No, you can’t tell if an egg is bad by its color alone. Fresh eggs can come in different colors, including brown and white.

12. Do eggs need to be refrigerated?

Yes, it’s best to store eggs in the fridge to keep them fresh for longer.

13. Can you eat eggs that have been left out overnight?

No, it’s not safe to eat eggs that have been left out overnight as they can go bad quickly at room temperature.


There you have it – seven simple ways to tell if eggs are bad. Always remember to check the eggs’ expiration date and perform one or more of the tests we’ve discussed to ensure that they’re still safe to eat. Proper egg storage is also crucial in keeping them fresh for longer. By following these tips, you won’t have to worry about using bad eggs in your cooking or consuming them unknowingly.

We hope this article has been helpful to you. Happy cooking and stay safe!


The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. Always consult a healthcare professional or a food safety specialist before consuming any food product that you suspect might be spoiled.