Simple or exquisite cakes, delicate pancakes that the whole family loves, various quiches and omelets … The delicious recipes that contain eggs are countless! And although their price has increased by almost 20% in just one year and chicken farmers are not the ones benefiting from this increase, they are still bought and used quite often. But if you can’t remember when you bought yours, you’re probably wondering if their expiry date has passed. So how to tell if the eggs are expired or still good?
Table of Contents
Recommended best before date of an egg and other terms
Generally, an egg is said to be fresh 28 days after being laid, of which the first 9 – extra fresh, which makes it consumable without heat treatment too. Of course, this does not mean that the eggs become expired exactly 4 weeks after being laid. This is only their recommended consumption period and the interval during which stores are allowed to sell them. At home, in the fridge, you can keep them and consume them for several weeks provided you observe certain requirements.
How to store eggs at home?
The most important condition for preserving eggs is that the shell is not chipped. Bear in mind that in Europe eggs are not washed before being sold, as this would remove their protective layer and make bacteria penetration easier. You should therefore only clean them just before the moment of consumption. Eggs are also one of the foods you should never freeze.
How to tell if the eggs are expired?
Residents of Canada and the United States should know that in your country, manufacturers are obliged to wash eggs, which removes the protective coating and brings the expiration date closer in time. So keep them on one of the middle shelves of the fridge where the temperature is lower. Otherwise, storing them in the special door compartments is fine.
Read the information on the box/shell
Logically, the first thing to do when wondering how to tell if eggs are expired is to consult their packaging and their shell. If you have discarded the carton with the best before date, look for the freshness code stamped on the shell. It is a coded mention in the format 0-XX-123456 00-00 indicating, in this order, the type of breeding of the layers, the country of origin and the number identifying the producer. It is the last two digits that interest us, indicating the day and month of egg laying. Otherwise, you will have “laid on + date” and “RCD” – the recommended consumption date.
Certainly, when your eggs are not from industrial farming, they will not have a code indicating the RCD. So how do you tell if eggs are expired or still good to eat? Here are some more simple methods that do not require specific skills or equipment.
Trust your receptors
Anyone wondering how to tell if eggs are expired simply has to trust their senses and, no, that’s not intuition we’re talking about. Your sight, smell and even hearing will tell you if you can still eat an egg or if it is better to replace it.
First, do a meticulous visual inspection for cracks, fissures or slime on the shell. If necessary, use a flashlight to make any defects on the shell clearly visible. If there is no breach, shake the egg vigorously near your ear. If you hear a splash, the egg has probably gone bad and is not safe to eat.
Finally, sniffing eggs to find out if they are good or stale is a simple, but very reliable approach. The catch is that you have to crack the egg first, because its shell doesn’t let odors through. So break the egg into a bowl, inspect its texture and color and, above all, smell it. A rotten egg gives off a smell of sulfur that you will never forget and you will undoubtedly know that it is bad.
How to tell if eggs are expired with the floating test
Finally, the most believable grandmother’s trick to find out if the eggs are expired is to immerse them in water. If they sink to the bottom, they are fresh and good to eat, if they float, it is still safe to eat them, but only cooked. If, on the other hand, your egg rises to the surface, it is because the small pocket of air inside it has become too large, which means that the egg is old and should not be consumed. When in doubt, it is better to replace the eggs than to take unnecessary risks. Now you know how to tell if the eggs are expired!