Egg with skull and cross bones drawn onto it
How To Tell If Your Eggs Are Spoiled

Eggs can often last up to five weeks past the printed expiration date, so checking for a packaging date is a better indicator of their freshness.


When refrigerated, fresh eggs could last for three months or more. If your eggs fall within this timeframe, they could still be safe to eat, even if the expiration date has passed.

As the theory goes, if an egg floats in water, it is bad, and if it sinks, it is fresh. However, this method isn't necessarily accurate all the time.

See If It Floats

According to The U.S. Department of Agriculture, if an egg floats, it is an indicator that it is not fresh, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it is bad.

To conduct the shake test, simply hold the egg next to your ear and give it a gentle shake. If you can't hear anything, chances are good the egg is fresh and good to use.

Shake It

However, if you can hear the yolk and egg whites moving around inside the shell, it's a sign it might be bad. As an egg ages, the inside breaks down, causing a sloshing noise.

When examining an egg, look for any cracks or changes in texture. Ideally, an eggshell is smooth and dry, and if it is slimy or cracked, it has likely gone bad.

Abnormal Shell

When eggshells crack, it gives harmful bacteria a chance to enter and contaminate the yolk and egg whites. However, if you know the cracks are recent, they aren't that serious.

Typically, good eggs won't smell like much at all. However, if they are rotten, you'll likely get a whiff of something awful and some would say, downright offensive.

Sniff It

Some equate the smell to sulfur. If you have even the slightest suspicion, you should trust your instincts and toss the offending egg in the trash.