Identifying spoiled food is usually straightforward—you can see and smell the changes. However, eggs are trickier to assess. You don’t want to crack open an egg just to check its freshness. These tips will help you determine if an egg has gone bad.
The Packing Date
To check if your eggs are still fresh, look for the packing date, which is different from the expiration or sell-by dates. The packing date tells you when the eggs were packaged. If the packing date is four or five weeks ago, the eggs may be spoiled. Finding the packing date can be a bit tricky because it’s not a regular date like the expiration date. Look for a three-digit code on the packaging, usually near the other dates. This code represents a specific day of the year (001-365) using the Julian date calendar. By decoding the code, you can determine if the date is too far in the past to safely eat your eggs.
If you’re not sure about the previous method, here’s another simple way to check if your eggs are still fresh. Get a cup of water that can hold an egg and place the egg in it. Eggs have tiny holes, so air can enter them. Older eggs tend to have more air inside. If the egg floats in the water, it means it has more air and it’s time to discard it.
The safest and best way to determine if your eggs are fresh is to crack them open. Even old eggs can be safe to eat, and the packaging date only tells you how old the egg is. If you want to minimize food waste and throw away eggs only when they’re really bad, crack one open and give it a sniff. If it smells or looks bad, don’t eat it.
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