Egg Question for Annie1992

jsvrnAugust 8, 2012

Annie I am more of a lurker than a poster but I had an egg issue tonight while baking and you are the first person I thought of. We having been buying fresh eggs from a co-worker of my husbands and I was baking zucchini bread tonight and came across a rotten egg. Greenish in color and really bad smell. Of course I didn't follow cooking 101 and put the egg in the batter instead of a bowl first and had to trash everything and start over...UGH. Anyway my question is how long do fresh eggs stay fresh and do the commercial companies do something different with there eggs to prevent this. I cook all the time and have never ran into this problem. Any information you can give me would be helpful

Thanks in advance Jackie

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Ewww. Jackie, I'm sorry. I haven't experienced a rotten egg in a long, long time.

Actually, eggs left out or getting old seldom get rotten, they mostly dry up, according to my extension service. To get rotten requires bacterial or fungal contamination. So that egg may have had a tiny pinhole or crack in it which allowed bacteria in.

Eggs are laid with a protective film which keeps bacteria out. Eggs shouldn't really be washed until they are to be used, although any residue can be wiped off. Commercial egg producers do wash the eggs and some egg companies spray or oil the shells after washing to "refresh" that barrier.

So, how long is an egg "fresh"? The eggs you buy at the store are already a couple of weeks old, probably more, because they are graded, packed, shipped and stored before someone picks them up off the shelf. My own somewhat arbitrary requirement was that they should be used within a month. Refrigeration does allow you to keep eggs longer, but even then I maybe push 6 weeks. The extension service says 3 months!

Most European countries do not allow the washing of eggs which are sold commercially, and most don't allow refrigeration of those eggs either. Now, we're talking raw eggs, not cooked eggs.

So your rotten egg could be the result of an egg being stepped in when a couple of hens were arguing over a nest, or being dropped a bit too hard into the basket/bucket when it was gathered, or knocked against another one while cleaning. I doubt it was rotten because it was too old, because, as said, they mostly dry up. The egg solids get smaller and the air pockets in the shell get bigger, which is why a stale egg will float and a fresh one will sink in a bowl of water.

You have to have the introduction of that bacteria or fungus, etc., to have a rotten egg.

I am very careful with handling and storage and don't wash fresh eggs until I'm ready to crack them, and I haven't had a rotten egg in at least 20 years. I've had a few where the white runs all over the pan, clearly not quite so fresh, but still not rotten.

Darn, that stinks about the zucchini bread, in the most literal sense. Ugh is right.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 10:12PM
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Thanks Annie...great information. I ended up dumping the batter and starting over. Bread turned out great. I am relieved to know that it was an isolated incident rather than a common problem.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 10:20PM
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I was sure you'd have to dump the batter, I don't know how it could have possibly be saved, unfortunately.

Oh, and welcome to the cooking forum, now you are "out in the open", post more often. You could start with the zucchini bread recipe, I have a couple of zucchini in the kitchen right now!


    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 10:37PM
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Welcome don't happen to have a recipe for tomato bread do you?? LOL!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 11:00PM
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BTW, you can check the freshness of eggs by putting each one in a bowl of water. A really rotten egg will float.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 5:48AM
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Cracking eggs, separately, into a little bowl is something my grandmother taught me as a kid. She always warned agains cracking a ROTTEN one into the bowl with the rest of the stuff... can't remember that EVER happening?? I can only recall ONE bad egg over the years... it went down the disposal before any serious STINK even had a chance to reach my nose!

An egg that floats does NOT mean it's bad!?! Just means it's not super fresh. The little "bubble" area on the big end of an egg gets larger over time... very SLOW evaporation of liquid thru shell.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 10:09AM
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Yes, I mentioned that an older egg will float because the air pockets get larger within the shell when the egg starts to lose volume. It doesn't mean it is rotten, but it does mean it's not fresh.

Tomato bread?


    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 2:27PM
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