Expired eggs may be unhealthy for human consumption, and so, if you have some in your house, there are safe ways to dispose of them. These methods include garbage disposal, trash disposal, or composting. You may also use expired (but not spoilt) eggs as fertilizer for your plants.
Eggs go bad after about eight weeks from the time chicken lays them. After this period lapses, they may be unsafe to consume. In this article, we look at how to test if eggs are bad or not, safe ways to dispose of them, as well as what else you can do with spoilt/expired eggs. Read on!
How Can You 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;
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;
1. Dig a hole in the ground (about 2-inches deep)
2. Bury the eggs in the hole
3. Place a board over the spot you have buried the eggs and put a heavyweight 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 wastes. 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;
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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 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 date 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). 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 within ‘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.
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. Spoilt 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 on 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.
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.
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 into the trash bin, or throw them down the garbage disposal.
You can also add the eggs into your garden as they can be a good source of fertilizer and other essential nutrients for your plants.