How to tell if “expired” eggs are still good to eat

A lot of people rely solely on the date on the package to tell when food has gone bad, including eggs. But “sell by dates” are often quite arbitrary, and don’t correlate with expiration dates.

The eggs can be eaten even long after the expiration date What does the packaging say? If you want to test how fresh they are and find it difficult or don’t know how to do it, here are some methods to test them.

You just have to fill a bowl with cold water and place the eggs in the bowl.

The reason this method works so well is that eggshells are porous, which means they allow air to enter. Fresh eggs have less air in them, so they sink to the bottom. But older eggs have had more time for air to penetrate the shells, so they are more buoyant and will float.

2. See packing time

To get an idea of ​​the “age” of an egg, we must look at the “packing time” by the dates on the carton, which are in the form of Julian date for “sale” dates. Julian dates range from 1 to 365 days, and since most companies pack their eggs shortly after receiving them, that’s a good indicator.

3. Listen to how it sounds inside

Some people also claim that you can hold an egg to your ear and shake it to determine its freshness. If you can hear a sloshing sound inside the egg, probably this badbut if you don’t hear anything, it’s ok to eat.

4. Candling method

There is the candling method, which is used primarily to test egg quality before eggs are put on the market, but also helps determine freshness, although it is more difficult to see at later stages. Some just put a flashlight right next to the egg shell to illuminate the interiorbut historically, a piece of cardboard with a small hole in it was used, with a light source behind it and the egg in front.

This method will allow you to see the airspace and the mold, but it is actually a difficult technique to pull off.

Above you can see a fresh egg (little air space, slightly visible yolk), a little stale (larger air space, slightly darker yolk), an almost bad egg (very dark and jagged yolk), and an egg in poor condition (very dark and deformed yolk) using the candling technique.

5. Plate and suction test

If you don’t need the shell intact, you can also crack the egg on a plate or other flat surface to test how fresh it is. If fresh, the yolk should be bright yellow or orange, and the white should not extend too far. If you are not sure, breathe near him: Fresh eggs should not have much odor at all.

If the egg is older, the yolk will be flatter and the white will be much more runny. An egg that spreads too far isn’t necessarily bad, though, just older ones (and again, good for hard-boiled eggs). You probably won’t even need to do the suction test when the eggs are bad as the rotten ones have a very strong odor, and you’ll notice right away.

What to do with eggs that expire soon

Do you have a lot of eggs and you think they will go bad before you can use them? Bring them to a boil and put them in a jar with a beet brine to make pickled eggs spicy and delicious, so you can keep them longer.

There are also a ton of things you can do with those discarded shells, like making your kettle super clean, fertilizing the soil, etc. And do not forget the leftover egg cartons, which come in handy for example to put food for the birds, as a source of fuel for the fire, candle holders, etc.

for the curious