You open the fridge to cook something with eggs but you’re not sure if the ones in there are still fresh or not. It’s been in the fridge for a while so is it
safe? Should you risk it?
For comparison sake, an egg is considered bad when it starts to decompose and smell – and its foul smell is a dead giveaway. Otherwise, eggs are perfectly good to eat after their expiration date, especially if you’ve been refrigerating them (but don’t leave it for too long!). In fact, it is hard to go by the expiration date when it comes to determining if you can eat the eggs or not because eggs can be and often still are perfectly good long after the date that’s printed on its packaging.
What happens when an egg is left uneaten for a while? A few things:
How do you determine if your eggs are fresh and not-so-fresh without having to crack it? Here are some DIY methods.
This is the simplest way to test for freshness: Submerge your egg in a container of water. A fresh egg will lie flat on the bottom. An egg that’s about a week past its freshness date will float slightly in the middle while an egg that’s really not too fresh anymore and should be tossed will float above this water.
What causes the eggs to float? Inside every egg is a thin membrane that forms a small air pocket. As the egg ages, the air pocket expands, causing it to float .
Here’s an interesting fact: If you want to make hard-boiled eggs, using a slightly older egg lets you peel the egg easier. So the best eggs for this are actually eggs that are at least a week old.
Also, don’t assume that because one egg isn’t as fresh, the rest in the carton are the same. Test each egg individually.
Use your nose! Eggs that are not so fresh will give off an unmistakable smell. So the rule of the thumb is if it smells bad – raw or cooked – toss it.
This is especially useful if you’re unsure of the eggs you’re about to buy from the supermarket (after all, they may have been out on the shelves for a while). A good egg has a smooth shell – no cracks or slime (may indicate bacteria) and isn’t powdery (may indicate mold). Also, if an egg is cracked, bacteria can easily get in. As long as the egg shell doesn’t look or feel clean, don’t get it .
One thing to note: It doesn’t mean that if your whites or yolks are runny, you can’t use it. It just means that the egg is old and its quality has declined. It’s still perfectly fine to use; just that you’re not getting the best out of that egg.
How you store eggs can also help keep them fresher. Here are some tips: