How Cooking Experts Say You Should Test Eggs For Freshness

Boxes of eggs come with a printed (best-buy) date. However, this information alone cannot tell you how fresh the eggs are. As a result, cooking experts came up with ways to test eggs for freshness.

Regardless of the printed date on your boxes of eggs, they may not always last up to that date. Eggs may go bad or lose their integrity before the printed date.

It’s very easy to fall for the appearance of eggs and think they are still intact until you break them. To avoid wasting eggs, you should constantly test them for freshness and discard the bad ones before they contaminate the whole box.

How to test eggs for freshness

Below are a couple of methods you can use to test your eggs for freshness before adding them to meals. 

1. Best-before date

Although the best-before date isn’t for each egg, it is also an excellent way to tell if your eggs are still good. If you have the carton around, check the best-before date and use it to determine if the eggs are still good or not.

If it’s past its best-before date, the eggs may no longer be fresh. You may have to throw them away. But, before you do, you can check for the signs below.

To keep your eggs fresh for a long period, choose eggs with a farther expiry date.

 2. Smell 

Rotten eggs have a pungent sulfur smell that is easily detectable. For some rotten eggs, you may perceive the smell before breaking them. In other cases, you will perceive a foul smell when you break the eggs.

3. Visual test                 

Carefully looking at some eggs is all it takes to give away the fact that they are rotten. Always check your egg for cracks, powdery eggshells that are damping off, or an awkward-looking shell.

These signs are good indicators of spoilage in eggs. Carefully inspect your eggs for any signs that may seem unusual. While you may observe some of these signs before breaking the eggs, others are only seen after you break the eggs.

4. Egg white test

Upon breaking your egg, also look at the content carefully. Is there an unusual coloration in the egg? Are the egg white and yolk still their normal color? Is the egg white runny?

Ask these questions and check for the signs before concluding that your egg is in perfect shape. 

If you have a foil plate, break the egg in it. A good egg will settle well, and the yolk will be clearly distinguished from the egg white. The egg white should not be colored, too thick, or too watery.   

5. Float test

Another quick way to check if your egg is still fresh is by doing the float test. Get a bowl of water and place the eggs in the water, one after the other. If your egg floats, it is most likely rotten.

This principle works following the fact that rotten eggs will contain more air than good eggs. As a result, they will float in water. A good and fresh egg is heavier and will sink in a bowl of water.

Of course, this method is not a hundred percent accurate. Nonetheless, it is effective. 

6. Candling method 

Holding your egg up to a light source is another way to tell if it is still fresh or not. To perform the test, get a candle, and check carefully for any crack you might have missed in the visual inspection.

You can also use the candle to check for the air cells in the egg. The candling method also helps to check for meat spots, bloody whites, and blood spots.

The light makes the egg transparent, thereby making it easy to inspect the inside of the egg without destroying it.

None of the methods listed is one hundred percent accurate on its own. However, some of them are more trusted than others. While some tell you that the egg is old, others go on to help determine if they are consumable or not. 

Why should you test your eggs for freshness? 

  • Testing your eggs for freshness helps you to avoid food poisoning, and stay safe and healthy.
  • Testing eggs help you to quickly separate bad eggs from good ones.
  • It helps you to know the fresh eggs and pick them out quickly.
  • It helps you to save costs as you avoid purchasing rotten eggs.

Tips for storing and cooking good eggs

1. Store in a refrigerator

According to the USDA, the average egg stays fresh for about 3-5 weeks. However, if you want your egg to remain fresh for this long, you should store it properly. 

Store your eggs in the carton and a refrigerator. The carton will help to prevent contact with odorous foods that can contaminate the egg.

The USDA further advises that you should not leave eggs out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

2. Consume according to the best-before date

It is advised that you consume eggs with the nearer best date early. Do not keep an egg for later if its best-before date is near. Eat it and preserve others with farther dates.

3. Arrange properly 

Also, do not place your eggs in a disorderly manner that will generate heat. Keep them upright with the larger end facing up to protect the yolk.

4. Avoid hot storage conditions

If a refrigerator is not available, keep your eggs out in places with good relative humidity. Do not crowd them together or keep them in a hot place.

When you take them out of the refrigerator, return them as soon as possible.

5. Cool well

When cooking your egg using any of the methods, ensure that you cook it well. Cooking eggs to the right temperature saves you from salmonella and several other bacteria present in eggs. Do not consume undercooked eggs. 

6. Do not cook bad or rotten eggs

Salmonella causes food poisoning, and it is found in eggs. Consuming an egg that has been contaminated with it may lead to severe diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramp. Discard your eggs when you notice any signs of spoilage.

7. Opt for pasteurized eggs

Pasteurized eggs are pre-heated but uncooked eggs. Manufacturers of these eggs subject them to heat to kill bacteria.


How do you maintain the freshness of eggs?

You can maintain an egg’s freshness by storing it in a refrigerator. Also, make sure that you do not put the eggs in a hot or crowded place. In addition, keep eggs from other food substances that will contaminate and spoil the egg.

Can you freeze eggs?

Yes, you can freeze eggs to preserve them. Eggs can stay frozen for up to a year but you should use them within 3 to 4 months of freezing.

In addition, if the egg cracks in the freezer, throw it away. As long as it remains intact, you can use the egg. Thaw frozen eggs overnight in the refrigerator and use them at once.

How do you know cooked eggs have gone bad?

You can say cooked eggs have gone bad if you notice any deviation from their fresh form. Good and freshly cooked eggs are firm, white, and smell good.

However, when they have gone bad, they’ll be discolored, slimy, and have a foul smell.


Eggs are good sources of protein. However, consuming them when they are bad and rotten is harmful. Spoiled eggs have no nutritional value and would not do anyone any good.  

This is why you need to test eggs for freshness. To obtain the necessary nutritional advantages, always buy and consume good eggs.

If you are unsure of their freshness, use any of the methods above to confirm. Remember that no one method is one-size-fits-all. It is best to use all the methods to be sure the eggs are still fresh and edible.

Don’t stop here. Learn about why your eggs turn grey when cooking and whether they are safe to eat.

Thanks for reading.