There are few things worse for the day to day rhythm than food poisoning or vomiting or diarrhea. Unfortunately, eat a bad egg and you stand a chance that one of these ailments is coming your way. So you really need to know how to avoid consuming a dodgy egg! Below, we look at the key signs to help you understand whether an egg is a good egg or a bad egg! If you follow this advice, you will hopefully avoid any food related upsets to your stomach and will be able to carry on enjoying eggs as part of your diet.
Check for a foul odor
Smell is an important sense here. One of the first signs to look for is a foul odor. If you crack open an egg and are immediately aware of a bad smell, that’s an egg to avoid.
The same even applies for eggs in their shells. If you notice a smell coming from them, you should discard them. In truth, it’s quite rare to smell a bad egg merely from its shell, so don;t assume that just because you can’t smell anything from the outside that the egg is fine inside.
Unfortunately, smell is not foolproof. Sometimes the eggs might not smell off, but they may still be unwise to eat. If there is any doubt in your kind that the smell is suspicious or if the egg looks odd, don’t risk it.
Examining eggshells for discoloration or irregularities is a useful precautionary measure.
Discoloration may range from black or green spots, to red or brown patches. You should also be on the lookout for any cracks in the shell.
Another thing to consider is the weight of the egg compared to others in the same batch. If it’s significantly lighter, this could be a sign that the egg has gone bad. Being cognizant of this can help you avoid consuming spoiled eggs and acquiring potential food-borne illnesses.
Of course, many eggs are speckled, so do not be unaware of that fact, or you’ll end up throwing out a lot of eggs! Exercise common sense judgment.
Feel the eggshell for any soft spots
Eggs are fragile, we know! Butg they can withstand a bit of pressure, so on occasions you may need to push a little into an egg to determine if it is a good one. If you feel any soft spots, there’s a good chance that the egg has gone off and you would be wise to discard it.
When you pick up an egg to feel it, turn it in your hand, just to make sure you’re feeling all surfaces. This way, you can be sure you don’t miss any soft spots. If you buy your eggs in boxes of 6 or 12, then have a god examination of the contents of the box before bagging it.
Look for liquid in the eggshell
Liquid in the shell is a sign the egg is off. The liquid inside an eggshell is actually a highly concentrated form of the egg white, known as albumen. When the egg ages, the albumen can start to thicken, which causes the eggshell to weaken and leak the albumen out.
If you find any visible liquid inside the shell, it’s best to discard it and get a fresh one. Not only will it taste bad, but it can also cause food poisoning if eaten.
Of course, it can be difficult to tell the difference between bad liquid and a normal egg white. The way to determine the difference comes from knowing that the liquid stored inside a bad egg is usually cloudy with an unappetizing smell. It’s also more liquid-like than a normal egg white, which should appear thicker and whiter in comparison.
If in doubt, be cautious.
One well known old method is the float test. Take a container of water and place the egg inside. If it sinks, it’s fresh; if it floats, it’s probably old and should be discarded. Older bad eggs tend to be lighter.
This is due to how an egg ‘lives’. As an egg ages, the proteins break down and cause the eggshell to become less dense. This causes the egg to become more buoyant, leading it to float in water. So if your eggs float instead of sink, it’s a sign that they may be past their prime and should be thrown away.
Inspect eggshells for any signs of cracks, holes or discoloration.
Cracks and holes in the shell can be a sign that the egg may be contaminated with bacteria and in those circumstances it should be discarded immediately. Additionally, discoloration on the shell may indicate that the egg has been exposed to air for too long. Here, too, you would be advised to throw it away.
If the eggshell is unusually soft or feels slimy, it should be discarded
Eggs are bad if their shells feel unusually soft or slimy. Don’t doubt that! Any egg that has a shell that feels unusually soft or slimy should be gotten rid of.
Don’t take any chances with bad eggs – always throw them away!
If an egg sinks to the bottom and lies on its side, it is still okay to eat
This is fine! An egg that sinks is the critical test. If it rolls on to its side, that is not odd or something to be worried about.
Not only do eggs naturally sink when they’re fresh, but they also may roll on their sides when they’re no longer perfectly round.
Generally, you need to be aware that eggs are one of those foods that can tip a tummy into upset quite easily. Food poisoning from an egg can be serious and eggs have an association with salmonella bacteria and other bacterial infections related to food poisoning.
Having said that, the eggs on our food shelves are almost all perfectly safe and eggs are a brilliant foodstuff to those who like them, so do not worry unduly.