June 18, 2024
Learn how to tell if your eggs are still good with these various tips on inspecting the shell, conducting the scent, float, candle, shake, and light tests, and checking sell-by dates. Practice safe food handling and avoid foodborne illness with ease.


Eggs are a staple ingredient in many households, but it can be frustrating when you’re not sure if they’re still good or not. The last thing you want is to crack open an egg and find that it’s spoiled. In this article, we will discuss various ways to determine the freshness of eggs so that you can be confident in the quality of your ingredients.

Examine the Eggshell

One of the simplest ways to check if eggs are still good is by examining the eggshell itself. Look for any cracks or damages on the shell, and steer clear of any eggs with abnormal shapes.

Cracks or damages on the eggshell can create an entry for bacteria and other microorganisms to infiltrate the egg, rendering it unsafe to eat. Abnormal shapes in eggs can be an indication that they have been in storage for too long or are past their prime.

Sniff Test

The sniff test is a common method used to determine the freshness of eggs. Hold the egg close to your nose and take a whiff. A fresh egg will have a neutral or slightly sulfurous odor, while a rotten egg will have a distinct pungent smell.

If you’re unsure of what to smell for, just remember that fresh eggs should smell like nothing, but rotten eggs will have a strong and unpleasant odor.

Float Test

Another way to check egg freshness is by conducting a float test. Fill a bowl with cold water and gently place the egg inside. If the egg sinks to the bottom and stays there, it’s likely fresh. However, if it floats to the top of the water, it’s an indication that the egg has gone bad.

Eggs that have gone bad create a gas-filled oval-shaped pocket inside the shell. The gas pocket causes the egg to float to the top of the water.

Candle Test

The candle test was originally used to determine if eggs were fertile or not, but it can also indicate freshness. Place a flashlight behind the egg in a dark room and examine it closely. A fresh egg will have a clear and bright yolk and white. However, a bad egg will have a cloudy yolk and the white will appear watery.

To conduct the candle test at home, turn off the lights and hold the flashlight to the end of the egg with the air cell.

Sell-By Date

The sell-by date is also an important factor to consider when buying eggs. Always check the carton for the sell-by date and choose the carton with the latest sell-by date.

If you’re unsure of how to read the sell-by date, remember the Julian date system. The Julian date is a three-digit number that corresponds to the day of the year. Therefore, January 1st is 001 and December 31st is 365.

Shake Test

The shake test is another way to determine the freshness of eggs. Hold the egg close to your ear and shake it gently. A fresh egg will have little to no sound, while a bad egg will have a sloshing sound.

Remember to handle eggs gently when performing a shake test. If an egg is shaken too hard, it can create a false sloshing sound and damage the egg in the process.

Light Test

Similar to the candle test, the light test is used to reveal any abnormalities inside the egg. Hold the egg up to a bright light and examine it closely. A fresh egg will have no visible dark spots or abnormalities, while a bad egg will have visible dark spots or cloudy areas.

The light test is an effective way to check for egg freshness but requires a bright light source. A flashlight can be used in place of natural light, but holding the egg up to a white surface can also enhance visibility.


In conclusion, there are various ways to determine the freshness of eggs, and each method provides unique insights into egg quality. Inspecting the eggshell, conducting a sniff test, float test, candle test, sell-by date check, shake test, and light test all offer insights into egg freshness and quality.

Remember to always handle eggs safely and discard any eggs that have gone bad to avoid foodborne illness. With these tips, you’ll never have to question if your eggs are still good.

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