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How to Tell if an Egg is Bad or Not: How often have you cracked an egg into a dish of other ingredients to wonder if it’s still good or past its prime? Unfortunately, because of the protective, thick shell that masks the quality of the white and yolk, eggs are not the most straightforward food item to assess for freshness.

However, there are a few simple methods for determining whether an egg is fresh, as well as many actions you can do to stop your eggs from becoming bad in the first place.

Cracking open your egg and placing it in a basin is the best way to check if it is rotten. The Pseudomonas bacteria have spoiled egg white that is pink or iridescent.

When consumed, some bacteria can cause illness and generate a greenish, fluorescent, water-soluble hue. Whether cooked or uncooked, a rotten egg will smell bad when you crack it open.

How to Properly Store Eggs

Eggs have a lengthy shelf life if stored in the refrigerator. Place your eggs on the coldest shelf, typically in the middle or bottom of your refrigerator, rather than the inside of the door.

Since it is constantly exposed to the outside air when you open your refrigerator door, the door is the section that gets the warmest.

Eggs should remain in their carton. The carton shields the eggs from cracking, absorbing extra air and insulating them. FSIS suggests keeping your refrigerator at 45°F or lower to ensure your eggs survive as long as possible.

Finally, keep your eggs inside. FSIS advises “discarding all perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, eggs, and casseroles, left at room temperature longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90°F.”

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How Do You Prevent Eggs from Going Bad?

You can take numerous things to preserve the freshness of your eggs. Here are just a few of the most effective ways to avoid consuming a rotten egg:

  • Before purchasing, inspect the eggs within the carton; stay away from eggs with dirt or breaks. 
  • Avoid leaving the eggs in a hot car and get them home immediately. 
  • To avoid breakage, odor absorption, and water loss, refrigerate your eggs in the carton they arrive in.
  • Instead of in the door where the temperature swings more, store eggs in the refrigerator’s coldest portion, typically a middle or lower shelf.
  • Refrigerated eggs should not be left at room temperature for two hours. The eggs will perspire, which will foster a bacterial growth environment. 
  • Eggs can be kept in the fridge for up to six weeks, but always abide by the “best before” date printed on the box.

What are the Health Risks of Eating a Bad Egg?

One is likely to contract a Salmonella infection, a type of food poisoning, if they consume raw eggs. Bacteria of the type salmonella can develop on the shell and inside the yolk and egg white.

Salmonella infection symptoms may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fever
  • Vomiting

The symptoms often appear 6 hours to 6 days after consuming a contaminated egg and linger for 4 to 7 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Without the use of antibiotics, most people recover from a Salmonella infection. Those who experience severe symptoms, however, might need to be hospitalized. Salmonella infections are frequently more severe and hazardous in particular populations, including:

  • People who are above 65 years old
  • People with weaker immune systems, such as those who have had organ transplantation or are HIV positive, children younger than five years old, and

Salmonella illness can not always result from eating a contaminated egg. A person can take the following actions to lessen their risk of contracting Salmonella:

  • Wash your hands after handling raw eggs and after touching any other objects.
  • Storing eggs in the refrigerator, throwing away eggs after their expiration date, thoroughly boiling eggs so that the yolk and white are solid, and substituting pasteurized eggs in recipes that call for raw or barely cooked eggs

Why Do We Refrigerate Eggs?

You may have noticed that not all nations store their eggs in the refrigerator, so why should we? Depending on where they are created, you should store your eggs there. There were worries about food rotting and foodborne illness in the early 1970s.

As a result, American egg farmers started washing and chilling their eggs. Other nations, including Scandinavia, Canada, and Japan, started to follow suit. However, neither washing nor chilling of eggs is practiced in the European Union.

As a result, both at home and in stores, they are kept at ambient temperature. When eggs are washed, a thin membrane or “cuticle” that stops Salmonella and other bacteria from entering the egg’s shell is removed. The claim is that washing the eggs removes the cuticle, necessitating refrigeration to stop foodborne sickness.

Washing eggs at home before storing or using them is not advised. Through the pores in the egg’s shell, wash water can leak inside and contaminate the product. USDA-graded eggs are meticulously cleaned and sanitized under government laws using substances that adhere to FDA standards.

How to Safely Prepare Eggs

You can take additional easy actions to prepare your eggs and guarantee their safety for consumption. These consist of:

  • Before and after they come into touch with eggs, wash any utensils, tools, and surfaces with hot, soapy water.
  • Following the recipe’s instructions, combine raw eggs and other ingredients. Cook right away or chill and cook within 24 hours.
  • Unless they are pasteurized eggs, always cook your eggs until the yolk and white are firm.
  • Eggs should be cooked in dishes to a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure the internal temperature is met by using a food thermometer.
  • After cooking, serve cooked eggs and meals right away or put them in the fridge immediately to use later.
  • The maximum time that eggs should be left out of the refrigerator is two hours if a recipe calls for room-temperature eggs.
  • Use any cooked eggs or egg dishes remaining within three to four days.

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What Does a Bad Egg Look Like?

Looking at the egg’s shell alone rarely reveals any defects. An egg must be broken to assess its freshness, even if it has cracks or discoloration. 

Crack an egg onto a plate and carefully examine the white and yolk for color and thickness to determine the condition of the egg.

A fresh egg should have a thick, non-spreading white and a brilliant yellow or orange yolk. The egg white will be much funnier, and the yolk will be flatter and discolored if something is wrong.

Bottom Line

When eggs smell bad, the yolk and the white may become discolored. Cracked or sticky eggshells could be contaminated with microorganisms.

Simple methods for determining an egg’s freshness include looking at its expiration date, visually inspecting its shell, and cracking it open to smell the inside. If there is any doubt about whether an egg is rotten, it should be thrown aside.

The main risk of eating rotten eggs is salmonella infection, which can result in fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. One can reduce their risk of getting salmonella by storing eggs in the refrigerator, discarding any with cracked shells, and properly frying them before consuming them.

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