Although they don’t look edible from the outside, the egg nestled inside it’s shell is delicious and good for your health. However if an egg is past it, it is a completely different story! Off eggs smell bad and are not good to eat. Nevertheless, it’s very difficult to tell at what point an egg is no longer edible. The best before date could give you some indication but it is not the only way to tell whether you should throw out your egg or not. What’s more, sometimes eggs past this date are still good. Here are 5 techniques to help tell if an egg is bad or still edible!
1) The smell test
This technique is a classic and you don’t need anything except your nose to smell if there is any bad odors. (A less effective technique if you have a blocked nose, however!). Smell the egg and look for a characteristic sulphur odor which can indicate that the egg is no longer good to eat. If you don’t smell anything it is okay as eggs normally don’t smell.
If you are still doubtful, break the egg onto a plate or a bowl and smell it. If you still don’t smell anything you are okay but otherwise throw it out.
2) Go by the sound
Place the egg next to your ear. Shake the egg and listen. If you don’t hear anything, it is alright. If on the contrary, you can hear liquid moving around, it is not a good sign. In this case it is best to throw the egg out.
3) Crack and observe
A egg that is no longer good does not have the same look as a fresh egg. Therefore looking at the cracked egg could be a useful method. Break the shell and place the egg onto a flat surface. The yolk of a fresh egg is always a bright yellow and the egg white does not spread out much. The yolk is flatter for an egg which is no longer good to eat and the egg white is more liquid and runny. If this is the case you can smell the egg and don’t fry it you smell something.
4) Water bowl test
Egg shells are porous so that the liquid inside eventually evaporates and is replaced by air. This is why if you put an egg in a bowl full of cold water and it floats you know that it is no longer good to eat. If the egg falls to the bottom of the bowl on it’s side you know that the egg is still fresh to eat. However if the egg falls and stays vertical, the egg is not as fresh as before but it is still okay to eat all the same.
5) Pocket torch test (most scientific)
This technique is more like a fun experiment than an everyday tip as it is can be a little restrictive. Go into a dark room with your head torch or candle if you are a more traditional type and direct the light underneath the egg.
Tip the egg from side to side. If done correctly the inside of the egg should become illuminated. The air cell should measure at least 3 millimetres. With time the egg shell thins the air and the cell becomes thicker. This is a sign that the egg is no longer good.
Good to know: If the egg is no longer good to eat, the shell can be kept for many surprising uses and even for remedies! Try it out! In any case, if you have had eggs for a long time, and even if they have passed the tests make sure you cook them well just in case. Salmonella does not smell or change the egg, however it is still a risk.