How To Know When Eggs Go Bad

Last night, while I was fast asleep, my first farm share delivery of the season arrived. I was so excited this morning to see the box of fresh produce at my door. I quickly opened it to see what was inside, and, to my surprise, there was a dozen eggs on top of the leafy greens, radishes, and garlic scape. It was a pleasant surprise, naturally, but then I grew concerned. These eggs had sat at room temperature in my apartment building for 6+ hours. Did I now have a carton of rotten eggs on my hands?

Here’s what the Egg Safety Center has to say:

Q1: How long are eggs that have been refrigerated, safe to eat?


Raw eggs maintain their freshness for 4-5 weeks after purchase if kept refrigerated continuously.

Q2: I just realized I left the egg carton on the kitchen counter overnight. Are the eggs safe to use?

The general rule is that if food items are at room temperature for more than 2 hours, the safest thing to do is to discard the product. If you leave eggs anywhere that is not refrigerated, the best thing to do is throw those eggs away and buy a new carton.



Uh oh. That doesn’t bode well for me. But this information is coming from an official egg safety organization that needs to be extremely cautious. I’m pretty serious about food safety, so I probably won’t use the eggs, but I found this great video on wikihow.com to do a test. Basically, if the eggs sink to the bottom in a bowl of water, they’re probably okay. If they float to the top, they’re most likely rotten. Watch this video:



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