Can You Eat Boiled Eggs That Float? The Truth About Egg Freshness

Have you ever wondered how to test the freshness of an egg? Or maybe you’ve boiled some eggs before and noticed that some float while others sink, leaving you puzzled. In this article, we’ll explore everything there is to know about egg freshness, including factors affecting it and tips for storing them correctly.

To start off, we’ll answer the age-old question: can you eat boiled eggs that float? The answer is typically no. If your boiled egg floats in water, it’s because air builds up inside the shell as an egg ages – indicating that it’s not very fresh anymore. We’ll also dive into different methods of testing egg freshness so that you won’t have to rely solely on floating tests.

Other than age, there are many other factors to take into account when determining if an egg is fresh or not – such as whether they were washed or laid by free-range hens. But don’t worry too much! Along with teaching you these factors affecting freshness, we’ll share our top tips for how to store your eggs properly so they stay fresher for longer.

Lastly, just because a carton has passed its best-before-date doesn’t always mean those eggs belong in the trash bin right away. We’ll give recommendations around whether and how these slightly older eggs could be used safely.

Can You Eat Boiled Eggs That Float?

Have you ever boiled an egg and noticed that it floats on top of the water? You may have heard people say that eggs that float are not safe to eat, but is this really the case?

Explanation of Egg Freshness Test

The floating test is a simple way to check whether an egg is fresh or not. To perform the test, put an egg in a bowl of water. If the egg sinks to the bottom and lays flat on its side, it’s fresh. If it stands upright at the bottom or floats to the surface, it’s not fresh.

Science Behind Egg Freshness and Density

The reason why some eggs float while others sink has to do with their density. When an egg is laid, it has a small air cell at its broad end. As time passes, moisture inside the egg gradually evaporates through its porous shell and air makes its way into the shell through its pores as well – making this air cell larger over time. The more gas inside of it after evaporation and with aging, eventually will make them become buoyant enough that they will no longer be able to remain resting on their side down into water when placed there – thus leading them to float on top.

Eggshell is semi-permeable and lets gases like oxygen and carbon dioxide come in and out. In simpler terms, as eggs age so does their density drop because their permeability increases which leads them having insufficient mass compared with water behavior being incapable of staying stationary sunk underwater.

Risks of Eating Eggs That Float

Eating eggs that float can pose health risks because such eggs spoil faster than those that sink. These aged ones might contain high bacterial count causing foodborne illnesses like salmonella due to bacterial growth. Therefore, it’s best not to consume eggs that float in order to prevent the flu/cholera-like symptoms that may come from consuming contaminated food.

Precautions to Take

  • If you perform the egg freshness test and find that an egg floats, do not eat it even if you did cook it in some recipe.
  • If time of egg storage by manufacturer or when they were brought is uncertain or comparable with a week, make sure you use alternative fresh ingredients for any dish being made rather than risking health problems or just ask your grocer how many days ago they restocked their supply or obtained them from suppliers.
  • Always refrigerate eggs at a temperature of around 40°F (4°C) – storing eggs below this temperature will help slow down spoilage process thus allowing larger time span of safe consumption after purchase date; storing them above this range might increase their risk spoilage rate leading them towards floating faster underwater

It’s important to note that while the floating test can be useful for checking whether an egg is fresh, it isn’t foolproof. An egg may sink but still not be fresh enough to eat. If raw eggs are already starting showing cracks on their shells and/or hazy white colour/diminished texture before sinking however avoid consuming them too. The only way to guarantee safety is by following proper food safety measures and purchasing/using newly laid farmers’ Eggs only released for distribution purposes.

How to Test Egg Freshness

If you are wondering how fresh your eggs are, there are several ways to test their freshness. Here are some of the most straightforward and reliable methods:

Simple egg freshness test:

  • Fill a bowl with cold water and place the egg in it.
  • If the egg sinks to the bottom and lays flat on its side, it is very fresh.
  • If the egg stands upright on the bottom or tilts slightly upward, it is still good but not as fresh.
  • If the egg floats to the top, discard it because it is no longer fresh.
  • How to interpret egg freshness results:

    The reason an older egg will float while a fresher one will sink has to do with air pockets that form inside eggs as they age. So if your eggs float, that means it’s less dense than water because there’s more air inside. But if an egg sinks, it means its density is greater than water or in other words contains less air comparing with water.

    Other methods for testing egg quality:

    • Candling method: By holding them under a bright light source (such as a lamp), cracks or bloodstains should be visible easily indicating what could be wrong with the content of an inflicted broken shell rather than freshness issues.
    • A simple sniff test – By placing an uncracked raw chicken egg near your nose and giving it short whiffs whilst you twist your wrist clockwise direction and anticlockwise direction can assess whether you have foul-smelling odor resulting from bacterial growth which contributes adversely on health implications of consuming eggs over time.

    This knowledge can help you determine the freshness of eggs in your pantry and prevent any health concerns.

    Factors Affecting Egg Freshness

    Egg freshness is determined by various factors that affect their quality, taste, and cooking properties. Understanding these factors can help you make informed decisions about the eggs you buy and store. Here are a few of the most important factors that affect egg freshness:

    Age of the egg

    The age of an egg is one of the most significant factors affecting its freshness. As eggs age, they lose moisture through their porous shell and air chamber, which causes them to become less firm, more runny, and less flavorful when cooked. You can determine an egg’s freshness by assessing its shell quality and yolk position.

    • Fresher eggs will have a rounded yolk that sits higher in the middle and will also have a firmer white compared to older eggs.
    • Aged eggs tend to sit flat on their sides with a flatter yolk, thinner white as well as weaker shell membranes leading to watery whites after cracking/opening.

    Storage conditions

    The way you store your eggs has a significant impact on their freshness. Ideally, eggs should be stored in their original carton at consistent cool temperatures (between 33-40°F) rather than on your kitchen counter or egg trays. Keeping them in proper storage helps prevent flavor loss, odor absorption from other food items like garlic/onions/strong smelling cheese/etc., rapid bacteria growth ensured by storing with pointy-end facing downwards towards tray base for balance & constant contact with shelf ensuring uniform temperature distribution over time till due date – last longer before breaking down or becoming rotten/foul-smelling during cooking.

    Transportation and handling

    The way that the eggs are transported and handled plays another crucial role in their freshness. Eggs that are carelessly shipped or roughly handled may suffer cracks, which can allow bacteria to enter the egg and expedite its spoilage. Always inspect eggs before buying for any apparent signs of cracks.

    Egg washing

    In commercial farms, it is common practice to wash the eggs which removes natural protective bacterial coating called cuticle and covers them in mineral oil/other solutions to give glossy appearances/hide imperfections; however this drastically reduces their shelf life as it exposes porous shell surface leading accelerated moisture loss/faster spoilage. Non –oiled unwashed eggs last much longer without refrigeration than chemically treated washed ones but must be refrigerated earlier with proper storage to avoid spoilage as they are more prone to bacterial invasion via porous shells..

    • Unwashed farm fresh organic/non-organic eggs have a natural composition ensuring they contain healthy antibodies that protect against harmful bacteria
    • Washing home collected fresh laid non-grade A supermarket worthy shaped/brown-green-dark-shelled boiled cooked chilled peeled off kept in fridge by personal preference eggs after cooking immediately decreases bacterial count on outside shell (intact cuticles not penetrated/cut)

    To sum up, Age, Storage conditions Transportation & Handling, Washing Techniques all play significant roles in determining how long an egg will stay fresh. Keeping them in best possible condition during each phase – from farm/factory -> supplier agent -> retailer store-> end user For Maximum Shelf Life highlights the importance of choosing eggs carefully and properly storing them once you take them home.

    Tips for Storing Eggs

    If you’re a fan of eggs, then you know how important it is to keep them fresh. Here are some tips on how to properly store your eggs:

    Best practices for egg storage

    • Store eggs in their original carton. Egg cartons are designed to protect the eggs from damage and help maintain freshness.
    • Keep the carton in the main compartment of your fridge, not on the door. The temperature on the door fluctuates more than in the main compartment, which can cause the eggs to spoil faster.
    • The ideal temperature for storing eggs is between 33-40°F (0-4°C).

    How to extend egg freshness

    • Eggs have a natural coating called bloom that helps keep them fresh. To prevent this coating from being washed away, only wash your eggs right before use.
    • If you buy extra-large or jumbo sized eggs and don’t use them often, consider purchasing smaller sizes instead as they have a longer shelf life.
    • You can also extend egg freshness by freezing them. Crack each egg into a separate freezer-safe container and freeze for up to six months.

    Common mistakes to avoid

    • Avoid keeping your eggs near foods with strong odors such as onions or garlic. Eggs can absorb odors and flavors from other foods around them.
    • Never leave raw or cooked eggs at room temperature for more than two hours as this can promote bacterial growth and increase the risk of foodborne illness.

    Follow these expert tips to ensure that your beloved eggs stay fresh and delicious for longer periods of time.

    Using Eggs After the Best Before Date

    Eggs are a common household staple that can be used in various dishes. However, many people often throw away eggs once they have passed their “best before” date, without realizing that they may still be okay to consume.

    Difference between “Best Before” and “Expiry” Dates

    It’s important to understand the difference between “best before” and “expiry” dates. The best before date indicates when the product will start to deteriorate in quality or taste, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not safe to eat. An expiry date means you should not consume the product after that date as it may be harmful to your health.

    How to Determine if Eggs are Safe to Eat After the Best Before Date

    One way to determine if eggs are safe to eat after their best before date is by conducting a simple test: place an egg in a bowl of cold water; if it sinks and lays flat on its side, it’s still fresh; if it sinks but stands up or floats, it’s not so fresh anymore and probably shouldn’t be eaten.

    • If an egg smells bad or has a strange odor, don’t use it even if the best-before-date hasn’t passed yet.
    • If there are cracks or damage on the shell of your egg (before or after its sell-by-date), throw them out – this can let bacteria inside which can make you ill.
    • If your eggs have been stored at room temperature for more than two hours (or one hour during hot weather), don’t use them as bacteria could have started growing on them more quickly than when refrigerated.

    Risks of Consuming Expired Eggs

    Consuming expired eggs can carry the risk of food poisoning. This can cause a range of symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and even fever. So, it’s important to check your eggs before consuming them.

    In conclusion, best-before-dates are meant to be taken with a pinch of salt. Most often they’re just recommendations set by manufacturers for optimal quality; and it doesn’t necessarily tell you when the food will spoil or become unhealthy to eat. With a simple test and careful observation at home though it’s easy enough to tell if an egg is safe to consume well past its “best before” date.


    In conclusion, understanding how to determine egg freshness can help ensure food safety and prevent unnecessary waste. Plus, having fresher eggs will make eating them all-the-more enjoyable!


    How long do uncooked eggs last?

    Uncooked whole eggs should be used within 3-5 weeks after purchase from grocery stores but may stay good longer at home refrigeration conditions.

    What is the importance of washing chicken eggs?

    It’s recommended to wash any dirt or debris off chicken’s outermost layer of toughened proteins i.e., cuticle surface during processing only because without elimination of dirt, there’s an increased chance for bacteria on the eggshell to penetrate it more quickly.

    Should I worry about eating raw eggs in batter or mayo?

    Raw eggs may contain salmonella that could cause food poisoning. It’s better if you use pasteurized fresh liquid eggs or heat up at a high enough temperature for long enough to kill any harmful bacteria before using them so that they are safe to consume.

Similar Posts