What To Do With Rotten Eggs – All You Need To Know

What To Do With Rotten Eggs

If you discover rotten eggs:

  1. Safety first: Handle with care to avoid spills or contamination.
  2. Dispose of it properly: Seal it in a plastic bag and place it in a covered trash bin.
  3. Don’t compost: Rotten eggs can attract pests and cause foul odors.
  4. Ventilate: Air out the area to eliminate lingering smells.

What To Do With Rotten Eggs

Rotten eggs certainly aren’t inviting, yet they can serve a purpose than simply being disposed of. Here are some resourceful tips on what to do with rotten eggs:

1. Utilize for Compost

  • While rotten eggs leave a foul smell, they can be used directly in compost for nurturing plants.
  • They contain sulfur and calcium which are beneficial for plant growth.

2. Fabricate Egg Tempera

  • People keen on arts and crafts can use the yolk from rotten eggs in making egg tempera, a sort of paint.
  • However, caution is needed as aged eggs may present a health risk.

3. Create a Garden Fertilizer

  • When combined with soil, rotten eggs work as an excellent garden fertilizer.
  • They enrich the soil, naturally bolstering plant growth.

4. A Protective Barrier Against Deer

  • Rotten eggs’ putrid smell can shoo away deer and other animals from your backyard or garden.
  • Create a solution using water and rotten eggs and spray it around plants.

5. Make Homemade Fire Starters

  • They can be used to make a homemade fire starter.
  • Simply put, dry lint from the clothes dryer into a carton with the rotten egg, light it, and the fire will start.

Egg’s Standard Shelf Life: A Detailed Overview

Eggs, though a staple in numerous cuisines, often raise questions about their shelf life. Proper storage and understanding of packaged dates can extend the egg’s usability and promote food safety. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the standard shelf life of eggs:

  1. Fresh, Unwashed and Unrefrigerated Eggs
    • Freshly laid eggs that are unwashed and unrefrigerated can last for about two weeks.
    • The natural bloom or protective coating on the eggshell keeps bacteria at bay, preserving the egg for longer periods.
    • However, these eggs must be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to maintain quality.
  2. Fresh Eggs in the Refrigerator
    • Refrigerating fresh eggs can significantly extend their shelf life.
    • With refrigeration, fresh eggs can last up to five weeks before starting the decline process.
    • Ensure eggs are stored in their original carton and are placed in the coldest part of the fridge to maintain freshness.
  3. Hard-Boiled Eggs
    • Hard-boiled eggs, when peeled, must be consumed immediately due to potential bacteria exposure.
    • Unpeeled hard-boiled eggs can be refrigerated and consumed within one week.
  4. Scrambled Eggs
    • Scrambled eggs, whether plain or added with other ingredients, should be eaten immediately. If refrigerated, consume within 2-3 days.
  5. Pickled Eggs
    • Pickled eggs, submerged in a vinegar solution, can last between 3-4 months in the refrigerator.
  6. Pre-Packaged Eggs Products
    • Packaged egg products usually mention the ‘use by’ or ‘best before’ date on the packaging, which should be strictly adhered to for quality and safety.

Understanding Carton Dates

Egg cartons in supermarkets often bear three types of dates:

  • Pack Date: Utilizing the Julian calendar, this date tells when the eggs were packed in cartons.
  • Sell-By Date: This date is usually 30 days from the pack date. Eggs are edible for two to three weeks post this date.
  • Use By/Expiration Date: Eggs are safe to eat for 3-4 weeks after this date if stored properly.

Always remember, if an egg displays any unusual smell or texture, it’s better to be safe and discard it.

Type of EggsShelf Life (Unrefrigerated)Shelf Life (Refrigerated)
Fresh, Unwashed2 weeksN/A
Fresh, WashedN/A5 weeks
Hard-Boiled (Unpeeled)N/A1 week
Hard-Boiled (Peeled)N/AImmediately
ScrambledN/A2-3 days
PickledN/A3-4 months

How Can You Dispose Of Rotten Eggs?

Dispose Of Rotten Eggs

Sometimes you may find yourself with several eggs long after their expiration date is over. When this is the case, you need to know the safe methods of disposing of these eggs. The following ways are effective;

Garbage Disposal

One of the most effective ways of getting rid of rotten eggs is to throw them down your garbage disposal. You will need to crack the eggs and remove the shells before throwing them down the garbage disposal. Removing the shells will help prevent clogging and damaging the drain pipes. The FDA recommends that hard-boiled eggs be used within one week of cooking, while frozen eggs could go for up to one year. 

However, eggs that develop an unusual smell or color must be discarded even if their expiration date is still far.

Composting The Eggs

Since eggs are organic matter, you can compost them without fear of any harmful effects. You may compost the whole egg or just their shells if you are flushing their contents in the garbage disposal. 

You can either place your spoilt eggs in your pick-up bin or use the local authority’s drop-off points. For DIY composting, you will need to;

  • Dig a hole in the ground (about 2-inches deep)
  • Bury the eggs in the hole
  • Place a board over the spot you have buried the eggs and put a heavy weight on top. Ensure that the compost is out of reach of your animals 

Eggs will decompose and sterilize most substances mixed with green waste. Such materials include sawdust, cardboard, and coffee grounds. 

Disposing Of In The Trash Bin

If the spoilt eggs are not many, you can throw them in the trash bin together with other food waste. But, if the eggs are too many, this method will not be feasible. 

How Else Can You Handle Expired Eggs?

Although not all the eggs that are past their expiration date may be spoilt, it may not be viable to eat them for the sake of your health. Any egg that shows an unusual coloring on the egg white or yolk indicates a bacterial infection. The following tips are helpful;

  • You can add expired eggs to your compost pile or garden bed since they can be a good source of fertilizer. Eggs are rich in calcium which is essential for plants such as vegetables and fruits. Once added to the soil, the eggs will leach calcium for plants’ root uptake; this mineral helps prevent issues such as blossom end rot. 
  • Eggs that look and smell okay after the expiration date can be mixed with yogurt or blended with fruits. You can then use the mixture on your skin or hair. 
  • Since eggs are highly nutritious, you can use them to prepare a meal for your pets like puppies or kittens. But, be sure that the eggs have no unusual color or smell.
  • You can also use expired eggs (make sure the smell and color are okay) to make adhesive. To do this, mix the eggs with a little milk to create a smooth blend. Apply some oil on ice cube trays and place the mixture, then freeze it. You can then use the adhesive to make paint (egg tempera) or paper patching bullets. 

How Can You Tell If Your Eggs Have Gone Bad?

Eggs Have Gone Bad

Eggs may get spoilt before or after the expiry date on the stamp. It is, therefore, necessary to test if they are okay, especially if you suspect that they could be bad. The following are simple ways that can help to know if your eggs are still okay or not;

Checking The Expiry Date

As with other food products, eggs come with a stamp on the carton that indicates their expiration date. Checking this date is one of the simplest ways that help show if they might have gone bad or not. Depending on where you reside in the US, an egg’s carton can have an ‘expiration or ‘sell-by date. 

A ‘sell by’ data shows the length of time a store can offer products for sale (usually not more than 30 days from the day of packing). This data may not necessarily mean that the eggs are not safe for consumption. Conversely, an ‘expiration date indicates the date after which the eggs may not be fresh. You may also look for ‘pack date’ if the above two dates are missing (this is a requirement for eggs graded by USDA). The pack date shows the day that the eggs were washed, graded, and packaged. 

‘Pack date’ is usually printed and represented as a chronological number (corresponding day of the year). For example, 1st January, which is the first day of the year, is written as 001, while the last day, which is 31st December, is printed as 365. Eggs with ‘sell by, ‘expiration‘, or ‘pack’ dates may still be good for consumption. 

However, since eggs may still be good to eat after the above dates, especially if they are refrigerated, it is advisable to conduct further tests on them; refrigerating your eggs prevents bacterial growth and preserves quality. 

Smell Test

Conducting a sniff test on your eggs is one of the oldest yet simple and reliable methods of checking whether your eggs are fresh or not. Spoiled eggs produce a foul smell, whether cooked or raw. If you cannot detect any smell with the shell still on, you may crack the egg and put it on a clean bowl or plate then smell it. If you notice any bad odor, you can toss the egg away and use hot, soapy water to clean the plate or bowl before you can use it again.

After conducting the sniff test and detecting no bad smell, you can eat the egg, since it shows that the egg is still safe. 

Inspect The Shell For Any Defects

You can also use your eyes to check whether the eggs shells are slimy, powdery, or have cracks. If the shells are cracked or slimy, it indicates the presence of bacteria, and if you notice any powdery appearance, this could show the presence of mold. If there are no visible signs of damage on the eggshells, crack the egg, place it in a clean bowl, and check if there is a discoloration on the egg white and yolk. 

If you notice any blue, pink, green, or black color on these parts of the egg, it indicates bacteria growth. Throw away such eggs, clean the bowl using hot, soapy water, and repeat the process with other eggs. 

Float Test

The float test is also a simple method of checking whether your eggs have gone bad or not. All you need to do is to place your eggs in a bucket or bowl of water. If any of your eggs float, it indicates that the egg is old or has expired. Conversely, an egg that sinks into the bottom is fresh and okay to be consumed. 

An egg has a small air pocket inside, which grows bigger as the egg ages. The more an egg stays, water is released and replaced by air, so the egg floats on water as the air pocket becomes bigger. 

The float test method may not be very effective and reliable since it may not show whether an egg is old or fresh. An egg may float but still be fine, and another may sink and be bad. It is, therefore, necessary to combine this test with the other methods mentioned above. 

Conclusion

Sometimes we may end up with expired eggs in the refrigerator or even in cartons. The first thing we need to do is test them to know if they have gone bad or not. One of the easiest ways is to put them in a water bowl to see if they float or sink. Once you have established that they are not safe for consumption, you can compost, dispose of them in the trash bin, or throw them down the garbage disposal.

You can also add eggs to your garden as they can be a good source of fertilizer and other essential nutrients for your plants.

References:

https://shrinkthatfootprint.com/how-to-dispose-of-old-eggs/
https://www.thinkingsustainably.com/how-to-dispose-of-rotten-or-expired-eggs/

 

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