Testing Egg Freshness

There are a number of ways to determine whether an egg is still consumable. This guide is about testing egg freshness.

June 29, 2015 Flag

We have 2 chickens and the eggs can stack up quickly sometimes. We collect our eggs in a basket on the counter. Then when the basket gets full, we put them into a sink full of water (at least a few inches above the eggs) to check their freshness and clean them. We rarely have a bad egg that needs to be thrown away, but you can also find the ones that are the oldest and need to be used first.


It's very easy to tell (see photos below):

  • If it FLOATS, it's bad and should be thrown out.
  • If it STANDS ON END in the bottom of the sink, it's getting old and should be used first.
  • If it LAYS ON ITS SIDE, it's great and very fresh.

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July 1, 20150 found this helpful

Very good tip! Thanks for posting.

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July 1, 20150 found this helpful

Just because an egg floats does not mean that it is absolutely bad. It means that the air sack is beginning to get larger. Egg shells are porous and as the egg ages it will take in air, more air, more buoyancy. That's why the slightly older than fresh eggs will stand up in water instead of laying flat. A rotten egg will have a distinct sulfur like odor and generally have a dark discoloration near the air sack. Anyone that keeps back yard chickens or ducks and collects the eggs should date their eggs and eliminate any guess work. Anything older than 2 or 3 weeks should be frozen or dehydrated.

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July 30, 2008 Flag
1 found this helpful

With grocery prices rising almost daily, I am even more prudent in seeking even small ways to save. Tip: Don't throw away eggs just because the sell by date has passed.

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September 6, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

What is the latest that eggs kept in the refrigerator are safe to eat? I get rid of them by date stamped on the container. My neighbor says I'm throwing out perfectly good eggs.

By R. Schober from San Antonio, TX

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September 6, 20110 found this helpful

1-2 months... good rule of thumb is to crack open the egg smell it, if it smells or looks funny at all, don't use it.

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September 6, 20110 found this helpful

stilltasty.com is an excellent site for your entire kitchen foods.

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September 6, 20110 found this helpful

Eggs, fresh, raw, in the shell:

Keep refrigerated at all times.

After eggs are purchased, they may be refrigerated for 3 to 5 weeks, the "sell by" date on the package, if one exists, will usually expire during that storage period, but the eggs will remain safe to use.

Do not store eggs in the molded egg rack of the refrigerator door, as the temperature is too warm, eggs will keep much better when stored in the main body of the refrigerator, in their purchased carton.

Do not freeze eggs in their shells.

To freeze whole eggs: (1) Remove eggs from their shells; (2) Pierce yolks and gently mix in 1/2 teaspoon of salt for every one cup of raw eggs (if using eggs for main dishes) or 1 tablespoon of sugar (if using or baking or desserts); (3) Place in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags and freeze.

Freezer time shown is for best quality only--foods kept constantly frozen at 0 degrees F will keep safe indefinitely.

Refrigerator 3-5 weeks

Freezer 1 year

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Anonymous Flag
September 12, 20110 found this helpful

You poor thing :-( Your neighbor is correct so I am glad you asked to verify.

I've kept eggs for up to two and a half months without a problem. Keep them in their original container and place them next to the side wall on the bottom shelf (that shelf being the top of the crisper bin) and you should have no problem. I keep my refrigerator temperature control set at 6 in the summer and 5 during the winter.

Also, older eggs are awesome for hard boiling because they peel easier than fresh ones ;-)

One more thing! Make sure they have no cracks because once the air starts seeping in through the cracks the eggs will go bad more quickly.

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September 12, 20110 found this helpful

The date on the container is the last sell date acceptable. I buy the one with the date furthest away and use until they are gone. I'm 78 years young and have never been sick yet.

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September 13, 20110 found this helpful

Deeli is right, I have kept and used eggs up to 3 months after the expiration date (refrigerated). Just be sure to open and look/smell test before cooking.


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September 26, 20110 found this helpful

I also like to use the Still Tasty website:


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April 28, 2008 Flag

You can determine the age of an egg by placing it in the bottom of a bowl of cold water. If it lays on it's side, it is fresh. If it stands at an angle, it is at least three days old and ten days old if it stands on end.

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August 23, 2004 Flag
1 found this helpful

If you want to know if an egg is still fresh, put it in a bowl of salt water. If the egg floats or sits with the big end up, the egg is no good.

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