I need to worry about spoiled eggs, really? Is it possible to eat a bad egg without realizing it?

From a few things I’ve read or heard lately, I now need to worry about eggs spoiling even if they are in the refrigerator. Only a couple of days ago I heard something on TV about how we shouldn’t use the in-the-door egg storage area, because it’s not as cold as the rest of the refrigerator.

And in this list of tongue-in-cheek suggestions for solving common food-related problems, it’s stated that if I don’t remember buying the eggs, they’re probably not fresh. I suppose if I don’t remember buying the eggs at all, they might have a point, and that’s an interpretation that just occurred to me. But I assumed originally it assumed I remember buying the eggs, but had forgotten exactly when.

In our house, the time an egg spends on the refrigerator shelf, or rather, the storage area in the door, can be anywhere from one day to three weeks. That’s probably not long enough to spoil an egg in any case, but when should I normally expect an egg to spoil? For a contrasting viewpoint, I’ve read somewhere – possibly here – that refrigerated eggs never go bad.

Related bonus question: How is it that, depending on the brand, it’s not uncommon to see milk with expiration dates as far as six weeks into the future, whereas it used to be that you were lucky if you could find a half-gallon in the grocery store that had a week of shelf life left. It’s only in the last year or two that I’ve noticed the longer shelf life. I’m not complaining by any means; it’s nice to be able to buy milk for things like cold cereal and coffee, and not have to worry about it going bad.

I’d read before about putting eggs in water to see if they sink or float to see if they are good or bad, but apparently that’s not a valid test. But that same link does say this:

Seems like a reasonable guideline.

UHT pasteurization will keep milk good for months as opposed to the 1-2 weeks that older types of pasteurization will get you.

I use eggs that are long past their expiration date all the time, sometimes by months. They’re NEVER bad. I have never ever had a bad one.

I was going to say, I’ve never seen any milk other than UHT that is that far in the future, but UHT is pretty easy to spot, no? (I assume the OP would’ve pointed out the difference, but maybe not.) Isn’t it usually sold in rectangular cartons not in the refrigerated section? Or have they started packaging it to look like “regular” milk?

According to the above-linked article, dairies have been selling UHT milk in refrigerated cartons because Americans don’t trust milk that isn’t refrigerated, which is pretty shrewd from an advertising perspective.

Ah, clever. The grocery store by my house still has it out in the middle of the store in the general dairy area, but it caters to a Hispanic population, so perhaps they’re more used to it.

If there’s any doubt in my mind I drop it in water. If it floats, it’s bad. It’s never bad, but I test it anyway.

Apparently a real rotten egg smells awful. (hence the phrase “Smells like a rotten egg”) I don’t ever remember coming across one.

However, just in the last couple of months I’ve had 3 or 4 fishy tasting yolks - these are disgusting and inedible. Some say it is what the hen has eaten but that doesn’t make any sense since they sit in a cage their entire lives, all eating the same thing.

I’m sure parts of it are excellent.

Eggs will last for close to a month even without refrigeration. With refrigeration, it’s exceedingly unlikely you’ll ever get a bad one. Really, it’s tough to spoil an egg. The only reason they have such a reason for being perishable is that when they do spoil, they spoil bad. Very few things stink as much as a rotten egg.

Same here…I’ve never cracked an egg and found it to look funny or smell like anything at all; as far as I can tell fresh raw eggs have no odor of any kind.

FTR with regard to the appearance of an egg, of course I’ve had the occasional double yolk, and on very rare occasions a fertile specimen that somehow got mixed in with the wrong batch. But in both types of cases, the egg was still completely free from odor and it was fine, scrambled.

I think in the past it wasn’t that uncommon to keep eggs out for a day or two, back when most people had to use iceboxes. In a way, being embryonic chickens the eggs are dead raw meat, but unlike a package of chicken thighs the egg has its own perfectly sealed container. So that’s probably why they got away with leaving them on the kitchen counter for a few hours. I’m sure people needed those sorts of tests for freshness a lot more a century ago than they do now. When the subject comes up now I can’t help wanting to ask, “What is this? Is it 1920 and the iceman is late?”

You can keep them out for much longer than that. When I lived in Hungary, all the eggs were sold out in cartons in the middle of the aisle (non refrigerated), and I would keep them in my cupboard. They’d last me the week or week and a half before I used them all just fine.

I had to check the username to see if I had forgotten that I posted this, because, yeah!

Consider that every single egg ever has spent a good fraction of a day inside a warm chicken butt, and an additional amount of time right under it. If they couldn’t stand being out in the warm for a few hours, they’d be useless.

As I understand it, European hens are vaccinated against salmonella more thoroughly than American hens are, so staging them at room temperature is safer there.

Yes, but things are different in the US where commercial egg producers wash eggs in hot water and soap, which eliminates a naturally protective layer. European egg producers don’t do this so the eggs retain the protective layer. Cite from NPR.

Probably 99% of Americans believe that UHT-pasteurized milk still needs refrigeration, and the retailers don’t want to frighten customers away by not refrigerating it. It’s not like there was ever some kind of public announcement that we would henceforth be able to store milk at room temperature.

Of course, there’s also the fact that most people probably prefer to drink cold milk, just as with beer and most other drinks.


Just make sure the egg shell hasnt cracked.