Eggs are a great source of protein and farm fresh eggs are even healthier than store bought eggs. But if you don’t buy your eggs from your supermarket how do you know when they expire? We’ve done a ton of research on this particular subject as we sell our farm fresh eggs. We don’t want to sell bad eggs and one of the questions we frequently get is:
“How do I tell when the eggs have gone bad?”
Well, there is a simple test that comes from generations ago. It is called the float test. Have you heard of it? It’s quite simple really. You place an egg in cool water. If it sinks to the bottom, it is fresh. When the egg starts to turn up on end while in the water, it is older. An egg that is 2-3 weeks old will stand almost completely vertical. However, if the egg floats to the surface this is an egg you don’t want to eat without further investigation!
Why do eggs float?
When you look at the anatomy of an egg, you’ll see that all eggs have what is known as an air cell in them. The smaller the air cell, the fresher the egg. As eggs age, the air cell enlarges because moisture is escaping through the pores in the shell and is replaced by air. This is why fresh eggs sink while older eggs float when put in water.
So if you have an egg that floats, it’s not to say it’s bad, it’s just older than the others. The best way to tell is to open the egg and examine it.
Is the shell cracked? Remember an egg needs to be solid in order to last a good month, so if there are any blemishes or cracks on the shell, it is likely not as fresh as its counterparts, or will spoil faster. How does it smell? A foul smell means a foul egg. Throw it out. Are there any blood spots? Blood spots do not necessarily mean a baby chick is growing, as there are other reasons for blood spots, but if you see one I’d toss it just to be safe.
Overall, the best way to know if an egg is good or bad is just to crack it open. And be sure to crack it in a separate bowl then the one you’re cooking in!
Understand why eggs float? Have you tried our simple test?