Many times, you must have cracked an egg in the bowl of several other additives and it would have only made you question yourself how to tell if an egg is bad. And there is no doubt in saying that its quality starts to lessen with time as the air pocket inside them starts getting larger and the white begins to get thin. 

But finding out whether it is good or not is not an easy task due to the outer shell which covers the white and yolk making it invisible. But, it only becomes bad when some mold or bacteria begins to decompose.  However, in some cases, your eggs can be wholly good to eat for many more days.

 Usually, finding out that how to tell if an egg is bad in winter is easy as it doesn’t get worse as early as in summer. Outside the refrigerator, it will last for 7-10 days and in summer it will last only for 3-4 days.

But there are a plethora of methods you can do to determine if an egg is good or bad. Some of them will be discussed below.

How to Tell If an Egg Is Bad?

There are a lot of ways that can help you in how to tell if an egg is bad. Some of them are described below:

  • Check out the date of expiration to know how to tell if an egg is bad:

It is one of the shortest and effortless methods to find out if the eggs are still good or not. But sometimes throwing them instantly after seeing the expiration date can be a waste of them. There are usually two dates mentioned on the carton which are sell-by or expiration dates. 

The sell-by date specifies how long they can be offered by the store for selling while, on the contrary, the expiration date indicates the date after which they are considered far from fresh. If they are within the sell-by or expiration date mentioned on the carton then undoubtedly, they will be fresh. 

  • Perform a sniff test in order to get the answer of how to tell if an egg is bad:          

 If you have not kept them in the carton and have gotten rid of the carton then this test is the simplest and very facile way of finding how to tell if an egg is bad or not. Even if their expiration date has passed you can easily tell by just sniffing. If they are bad then they will emanate a distinct and weird smell regardless of being raw or cooked.                                       

 To do this, crack it into the clean bowl and sniff it. If it gives an odd smell then it’s bad. Throw it and clean the bowl before using it for any other thing and if it smells normal and is not having any odd smell at all then consider it perfectly good to eat.
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  • Figure out the Julian date:

Julian date is a three-digit code that is usually mentioned on the carton is a useful answer to how to tell if an egg is bad or not. This begins at 001 (which is considered January 1) and ends at 365 (which is considered December 31). It indicates that day of the whole year at which they got packed. If it’s packed well, it will stay perfectly good for 4 to 5 weeks.

  • Try to find out visually:                      

 Not only your nose but also your eyes are a useful possession that can let you know that how to tell if an egg is bad. First of all, If it is in the shell then check the shell to make sure that it is not cracked, mucky, or chalky. Crack and muck can be the sign of the presence of bacteria and chalkiness can be the sign of the presence of mold.

Secondly, if the shell is entirely fine then crack it in the bowl and see if there is any green, black, pink, or blue discoloration in the white or yolk and if there is any then it may be a sign of bacterial growth. Throw it instantly and wash the bowl before using it again.     

  • Conduct a float test:             

The float test is one of the most general and simple methods to check and know that how to tell if an egg is bad or not. This is also used to find out the age of a fertilized egg that is growing into a chick. It works equally well for this.

To conduct this test, lightly put it in the bowl, bucket, or glass filled with water. If it sinks, then it will be considered fresh and if it goes upwards or floats over the water it will not be considered fresh.

And the reason behind this is that the air pocket present inside it grows in size and if it grows enough, it causes the egg to float. This test is more related to freshness and does not exactly tell if it’s bad or not.

  • Candle the Eggs:

This method is normally used to determine the quality or may also be used to assess the development of a chick if it is fertilized.

It is an industrial method in which specific tools are used to check them before packing them but this method can also be used at home. It requires a small effort but it’s useful in finding out the conundrum of how to tell if an egg is gone bad. All you need is a dark room and a candle. Though, some other sources of light can also be used. Clasp the candle or any other source of light to the end of the egg which is larger. 

You will be able to see the air pocket. If it’s thinner than 3.17mm then it will be fresh. As it gets old, its air pocket begins to increase in size. The movement of the white and yolk also shows freshness. If the movement is less, it will be fresh.

What Will Happen If You Eat a Bad Egg?

Eggs are the healthiest and widely available source of nutrition for many people out there but knowing that how to tell if an egg is bad and still eating it can lead to contact with mold or bacteria which can eventually cause food poisoning. Some of those bacteria are Escherichia coli and Salmonella. The symptoms of the disease mentioned above are:

  • Vomiting 
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Upset stomach
  • Fever
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea

These symptoms usually start showing up after 6 to 48 hours of eating a bad egg and can take 4 to 7 days to go away.

How to Prevent Eggs From Spoiling?

If you want to save them from spoiling for more than 4-5 weeks then you can just crack them in a container and can keep them frozen for more than a year. But, the quality will start going down after a certain time.

The bottomline: 

If an egg is bad it smells odd and the white and the yolk starts getting discolored. You can easily know how to tell if an egg is bad if they are powdery or cracked then it can be a sign of bacterial infection. Some useful yet simple ways of testing its freshness are expiration date, sniff test, Julian test, finding out visually, float test, and handling. The great risk of eating them is the infection of Salmonella which causes nausea, fever, and diarrhea. You can prevent them from getting worse by keeping them refrigerated and by throwing away the ones with cracked shells.