How to Tell If Eggs Are Still Good

cracking an egg

Have a carton of eggs that have passed their use-by date? Here's how to test to see if they are still good:

1. Fill a bowl with cold water, and place your first egg inside. If the egg sinks to the bottom, it's fresh. If the egg sinks to the bottom, but stands on its point, it's still good, but needs to be used soon. If the egg floats to the top, it needs to be discarded.

2. Repeat with the rest of the eggs in your carton.

Don't just assume that they're all good or bad because one egg tested that way.

Why This Works

Since egg shells are porous, the liquid inside the egg evaporates over time, and is replaced by outside air. This results in more buoyant eggs. So, you end up with fresh eggs that sink to the bottom, and old eggs that float to the top.

Note: Always discard any eggs that have an odd appearance or odor, or that have been stored improperly — even if they passed this test. It's not worth the risk of getting sick.

How Long Are Eggs Good for Anyway?

The FDA and Egg Safety Council both say a reasonable use-by date is four to five weeks after the eggs were packed, Here's how to find the pack date on the carton. It's a more reliable indication of freshness than the use-by or expiration date, so don't just chuck your eggs because the use-by date has passed.

How to Keep Eggs Fresh Longer

If your eggs aren't staying fresh as long as you'd like them to, it could be the way you're storing them.

Many refrigerators come equipped with egg compartments in the door, but that's actually the worst place in the fridge you could choose to store them. Tuck your eggs in the main part of the fridge, where it's colder and the temperature is more stable.

Have chickens? Don't wash your eggs until you're ready to use them.

They have a protective covering, known as bloom, that protects them from bacteria. Leave it intact until you're ready to cook something, and your home-grown eggs should outlast grocery store eggs.

To learn more about storing eggs, check out:

More About Eggs:

Need ideas to help you prolong the life of your eggs or suddenly find yourself in need of a good egg substitute? Check out these articles for suggestions: