Test Egg Freshness With This Simple Tip

test egg freshness

In our house we always have eggs to hand.  Unfortunately we don’t always manage to use up all of the eggs before their reach their best before date.  I used to throw them away when they got to this point, because, you know, that’s what the date said.  Now, as you know I hate food waste, and really loathed to throw the unused eggs out, but what else could you do?  Well, when my other half and I first moved in together he showed me a great tip to test egg freshness, that I thought I’d share with you today:

How to Test Egg Freshness

old egg

An egg two weeks past it’s best before date

To test egg freshness all you have to do is take your egg, and gently place it in a large glass of cold water:

egg glass water test

It sank so it’s safe to eat!

Eggs suitable for eating will sink to the bottom of the glass; eggs that float to the surface have gone off and must not be eaten.  It’s as easy as that to test egg freshness!  So even though my egg says best before 11th July it suggests it’s still safe to eat.  I took these photos on the 28th of July, in case you’re wondering.  With any egg past it’s best before date though, do ensure it’s cooked thoroughly before eating (due to a salmonella risks).

I’ll admit, I was skeptical, and felt a bit distrusting of the first egg I ate that had passed it’s best before date, but did I get ill?  No.  And have I ever been ill from an egg since we moved in together six years ago?  No.  So it’s tried and trusted, let me assure you of that!  Even the NHS say you can eat eggs after their best before date.  Again, just cook it thoroughly.

If in any doubt, the smell and look of the egg once you’ve cracked it open will also let you know if it’s suitable for consumption.  Everyone knows what a rotten egg smells like, and if it’s off the yolk will also be lying flat (rather than slightly raised) and the albumen will be very runny, almost like water.

Would you eat an egg past it’s expiration date?  Or do you have any other food tips?  Do share in the comments below!

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18 comments

  1. Just yesterday I found 7 eggs past their best before date (I think it was the 28th of July) in the fridge, and following a simple smell test I made waffles. But this is such as great tip, thanks for sharing !

    Reply
  2. The only thing I ever abide by dates on is fresh chicken. Everything else I go on smell and look. As a society, we waste so much food unnecessarily these days and it really bugs me. If it’s fruit and veg beyond rescuing (even in smoothie form!) I put it out for the creatures in the garden or at least try and compost it. And, the freezer is you friend :)

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    • I always put my unused fruits & veggies out also. What the animals don’t want just adds to the soil. Non-veg, unspoiled leftovers I always put out for the animals, too. As an older woman I used to work for said her father taught her to “never waste anything that another person or animal can eat. The sheer amount of food Americans waste is overwhelming, especially when humans in our own Country and more worldwide literally starve to death.

      Reply
  3. Yes, meat’s a whole other kettle of fish!

    I know some people who throw things out as soon as they reach the best before date – no matter how it looks or smells – seems crazy to waste perfectly good food! And oh yes, my freezer is my best foodie friend! :)

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  4. That is a fab tip thank you! I have never eaten an egg past its date, but I guess now I know what to look for I might give it a go. I guess the name is in the title: best before. There is a different between dates, best before means it may not be at its best, whereas use by is more of a definite don’t eat past this date. I found this useful article on moneysavingexpert some years ago, but didn’t think to apply to eggs at the time:
    http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/cheap-supermarket-shopping#match
    Scroll to the “don’t be a waster section”.

    Reply
  5. Good Article! Just been checking out the blog for the first time and I’m really pleased to see you sharing this advice. I produce free range eggs for sale from my own chickens as part of my sustainable food delivery service anfd I never waste an egg, even the cracked ones are eaten by either myself or the dog! I never let the eggs get old enough for it to be a problem and my customers tend to buy them weekly so they aren’t sitting there very long at all but eggs will last ages. I don’t date my eggs as they are always fresh but the only guarantee is to buy fresh from local producers and avoid the supermarket if possible! Another good tip is to give the egg a little shake by your ear and if it rattles it is likely bad. Really enjoyed coming across this article as I hate food waste too!

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  6. Well I guess I’m glad I Cam across this article but have a question I tested a fresh egg and one that was past it’s due date one floated completely so was no comparison but the others, I would say half floated the fresh egg went down and laid on it’s side all the other questionable eggs either floated or they sat upright not off the bottom of the glass but I suspect any-day now they will be complete floaters these can’t be safe to eat can they?

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  7. My question is if they are bad after they half float but don’t flip over on their side so I’m taking the plunge. If I die there will be no way to inform readers. Do older eggs carry a higher risk of samonella or just a risk of being rotten?

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    • If in any doubt a rotten egg will smell really bad – it’s quite a sulphurous smell – so don’t eat it! If it smells fine, and the float test suggests its ok then I would personally eat it, but it’s up to you. Older eggs don’t carry a higher risk of salmonella – salmonella is passed to eggs from the chicken so just as commonly occurs in fresh eggs as older eggs. When I say commonly, it’s something like 1 in 10,000 eggs that is thought to contain salmonella.

      Reply
  8. I just taught my wife this and she was likely to chuck them away thankyou you saved a very hungry egg loving Scottish family lol

    Reply

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