How to check if eggs are bad

Perhaps you see visual cues, such as a liquid consistency in the egg white, known scientifically as albumin, or a discoloration (bacterial contamination may cause albumin to turn green or iridescent). rid of it! Note that if you see a bloody spot on the yolk, it’s completely normal – it’s caused by a ruptured blood vessel. If eggs are cooked properly, they are safe for consumption.

If you open the carton to find that one of the eggshells has cracked, it is best to discard that egg. Cracks in the eggshell – no matter how small – open a pathway for bacteria to enter the egg, which speeds up the spoilage process. Here’s the golden rule: When in doubt, toss the rotten egg. Make some oatmeal and go about your day.

Note that there is a difference between everyday bacterial spoilage and salmonella contamination. “It’s not usually pathogens” — such as salmonella — “that make foods look or smell bad,” says Dr. Schaffner. “They are organisms of spoilage. They won’t make us sick, but they do make food unappetizing.”

Does eating an old egg cause you food poisoning? Probably not, but it probably wouldn’t taste very good either. The real danger lies in the salmonella bacteria, which cannot be discerned by taste, smell or appearance.


Here’s the bad news: Salmonella can only be detected under a microscope, so the average person can’t tell if their egg has been infected. “Just because an egg looks and smells okay doesn’t mean salmonella is absent,” warns Dr. Schaffner.

The good news: Only three out of every 10,000 eggs may contain salmonella in the albumen, so the chances of your carton being contaminated are very low. Still, in case you are an act You have one of those rotten eggs, there are precautions you can take to limit bacterial growth.

Salmonella lives in the albumen (or white) of the egg, where a number of natural preservatives work to keep the bacteria in check. But as the egg ages, the yolk membrane—which separates the egg white from the yolk—begins to break down. Over time, salmonella bacteria may be able to penetrate the yolk, where they are able to spread. This means that as the egg gets older, the risk of salmonella breeding increases — but there are some steps you can take to stave it off. The most important factor? Temperature.

“The lower the temperature, the slower the yolk membrane breakdown. Salmonella will not be able to grow below a certain temperature,” explains Dr. Schaffner. To prevent the spread of disease-causing bacteria, make sure your refrigerator is set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.

Note that cooking an egg with salmonella to a temperature of at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit will kill the bacteria. When handled properly, even a contaminated egg can be used in baking or other applications where the whole egg is cooked through (ie, no runny yolk).

How to maintain the shelf life of your eggs:

With proper storage, eggs should keep for weeks in the refrigerator. But there are some precautions you can take to keep your eggs fresh for longer. Here are some shopping tips and other recommendations for extending the life of your eggs.

Choose your cartoon wisely.

Brands aren’t required to print use-up or expiration dates on their eggs, but if they do, they need to follow a few rules. If the cartoon lists a Expiration or Sale of pre-history“can not be more than 30 days from the day the eggs are packed in the carton,” according to the USDA, while It is used by or Better dates ahead It can be 45 days from the date the eggs were packaged. Paying attention to these labels can help you identify the freshest eggs down the aisle.