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How to Tell if Eggs are Rotten

Eggs past the expiration date? Before you toss them, run these easy freshness tests.


  • Step 1: Disregard the color of the yolk -- it varies in accordance with the hen's diet. And a green ring on a hard-cooked yolk simply means you overcooked it.
  • FACT: When a hard-boiled egg is difficult to peel, it means it's very fresh.
  • TIP: A cloudy egg white means the egg is very fresh; a clear egg white means the egg is aging.
  • Step 2: No odor? Examine the egg white: a pink or iridescent appearance means it's spoiled. Don't worry about red spots -- they represent blood vessel ruptures that occurred at the time of ovulation and have nothing to do with safety or freshness.
  • Step 3: Crack a floater into a bowl and give it a sniff: if it gives off an unpleasant odor, throw it out.
  • Step 4: Do the float test: put the egg in a deep bowl of water. If it sinks straight to the bottom, it's fresh. If it floats, it means it's old, but may still be safe to eat. Proceed to the crack test.

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