Fresh eggs are a staple in most kitchens. They make great meals and are a source of protein, calcium, and vitamins A, B2, B12, and D. Eggs also help lose weight. However, eggs can go wrong if you don’t consume them on time or buy rotten eggs at the grocery store.
The only way to know if eggs are fresh is by checking their quality when purchasing them at the store or before preparing your favorite meal with them at home.
Don’t worry! There are several easy ways to determine the freshness of an egg so that you never have to throw away rotten ones again:
The egg should float horizontally at the top.
If the egg is fresh, it will float on the surface. If you have an egg that isn’t sold in stores and has been refrigerated for several days, you can still tell if it’s safe to eat by following this method:
- Fill a large bowl with cold water and stir in 1 tablespoon of salt until dissolved. Set aside.
- Gently crack open your hard-boiled egg (you don’t want to crack it too much—you want to expose enough of the white so that you can see inside). Then slowly lower it into the water by holding onto one end of its shell and reducing it at an angle so that some air is trapped between the shell and white membrane (the part where liquid surrounds). Watch how quickly or slowly your hard-boiled egg sinks into the water; if it sinks quickly or floats up immediately after submerging, then something’s not right!
Look for a date on the package to confirm how fresh the eggs are.
The dates on the package will tell you how long the eggs have been sitting at the grocery store. Ideally, you should use them within three weeks of purchase.
Look for a Julian date printed on the carton if you don’t know when they were packaged. This is an industry-standard way to track production and expiration dates, with “1” being January 1st.
Eggs are best stored in the back of your refrigerator at about 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 C). Don’t worry about keeping them in their original carton—eggshells have very few odor-absorbing properties! However, avoid stacking containers directly on top of one another; this will cause moisture to build up and might spoil your eggs faster than expected.
Smell the egg.
You can always smell the eggs before you open them. Eggs should smell like eggs, not rotten eggs or ammonia. If you smell sulfur, your egg is bad and will go wrong quickly.
If all of these signs are present, then maybe that’s not a fresh egg.
Hold up an egg and smell it from about 1/2 inch away from it.
If you’re not sure if your egg is stale or fresh, grab an egg and hold it up to your nose. Take a good whiff of the egg from about 1/2 inch away. If it smells like anything other than plain water, throw that thing out! You can also try smelling the egg from different sides: the top, bottom, and even front and back.
We hope that you find these methods useful when figuring out whether or not your eggs are fresh. The best way to say it is that eggs should be consumed within three weeks of being laid, and if they have been sitting in the fridge for longer than a week, then they probably aren’t good anymore. It’s also important to note that while some people may prefer eating their eggs cooked or hard-boiled (which will kill any salmonella bacteria), others enjoy them raw—and that is perfectly fine!