The Tell-Tale Sign Your Eggs Are Not Safe To Eat, According To The USDA

Eggs are a great way to get a good amount of protein, biotin, and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, all for an average of just 78 calories. While eggs typically get a bad rap for their high amount of cholesterol, a 2008 study in Circulation confirmed that it's okay to eat an egg a day without increasing your risk of heart failure.

Eggs can be kind of tricky when it comes to knowing when they're fresh. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that you should check out the sell-by date on the carton and use the eggs between three to five weeks from that date. But are those last few eggs in the carton still safe to eat if you're exactly five weeks out from that sell-by date? It helps to look at the albumen, also known as the egg white. If the albumen is either pink or iridescent, more than likely the egg is contaminated with the Pseudomonas bacteria, which can make you sick.

Precautions to keep your eggs safe

The USDA suggests inspecting your eggs before buying them at the grocery store. Eggs should be refrigerated at the store because bacteria multiply in perishable food stored at room temperature. The eggs should be clean and without cracks because bacteria could enter into these cracks. If an egg cracks in its container on your way home from the store, crack the egg into a clean container and seal it. Refrigerate the egg, but use it within two days.

Avoid washing eggs because not only does it remove a protective coating, but your water could have bacteria or contamination that could soak through the shell's pores. Eggs should remain refrigerated at 40 degrees or below until you're ready to use them. If an egg has been sitting out for more than two hours at room temperature, throw it out to avoid harmful bacterial contamination. One way to tell an egg is spoiled is by its odor. If you crack or cook an egg and it smells rancid, it's probably spoiled and should be thrown out.

Safely cook eggs

The University of Minnesota Extension says that even if you store your eggs properly, you could get sick if you don't handle them properly while cooking. Salmonella bacteria, a common culprit of foodborne illness, can find their way into uncooked or poorly handled eggs, leading to serious health complications. Fried eggs should be cooked for two to three minutes per side, and scrambled eggs until they are firm. Quiches and other egg-based casseroles should be cooked until the inside temperature is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooked eggs should be eaten within three or four days if you don't eat them right away.

Although it might be fun to make homemade ice cream, Better Health Channel says to avoid these types of foods because they containĀ raw eggs. This also includes homemade custards, mayonnaise, and hollandaise sauces. Rocky Balboa might have cracked four eggs as his health supplement, but this also isn't safe.