How To Tell If An Egg Yolk Is Bad? – Know The Truth

To tell if an egg yolk is bad, simply check its appearance and smell. A bad egg yolk will have an unusual color, texture, and odor, letting you know it’s time to discard it.

Egg yolks are a versatile and nutritious food that can be used in various dishes, such as cakes, sauces, and custards.

However, keeping eggs longer than their shelf life can cause them to go bad, which can result in serious health implications.

The yolks in the eggs are prone to spoilage, especially if stored improperly, making it important to know when they’re no longer safe to eat.

In this article, we’ll be discussing how to tell if an egg yolk is bad, and some of the telltale signs that you need to look for. Whether you’re a professional chef or a home cook, knowing how to identify a bad egg yolk can keep you safe and prevent food waste.

Crack the Code: Spotting Bad Egg Yolks


Understanding Egg Yolks

Have you ever wondered what makes up an egg yolk and why it is such an important part of our diets? In this section, we’ll dive into the anatomy of an egg yolk, its nutritional value, and the factors affecting its quality.

Explanation Of The Anatomy Of An Egg Yolk

The egg yolk is located at the center of an egg and is surrounded by the egg white or albumen. It contains a variety of nutrients and is encased in a thin membrane.

The yolk is made up of three main parts:

  • The vitelline membrane: This is a thin membrane that surrounds the yolk. It acts as a protective barrier and keeps the yolk intact.
  • The germinal disc: This is a small, white spot on the surface of the yolk. It is where fertilization occurs in a fertilized egg.
  • The yolk itself: This is the yellow or orange part of the egg. It is where most of the egg’s nutrients are found.

Nutritional Value Of Egg Yolks

Egg yolks are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are important for our health.

Here are some key nutritional facts about egg yolks:

  • Vitamins: Egg yolks contain vitamins a, d, e, and k, as well as b vitamins like b6, b12, and folic acid.
  • Minerals: Egg yolks are rich in minerals like iron, phosphorus, and zinc.
  • Protein: Egg yolks contain about 3 grams of protein per yolk.
  • Cholesterol: Egg yolks are high in cholesterol, containing about 184 milligrams per yolk.
  • Other nutrients: Egg yolks also contain antioxidants and healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids.

Factors Affecting The Quality Of Egg Yolks

The quality of egg yolks can be affected by a variety of factors, including:

  • Age of the egg: As an egg ages, the yolk becomes flatter and the egg white becomes thinner and more watery.
  • Diet of the hen: The diet of the hen can affect the quality and nutrient profile of the egg yolk. Hens that are fed a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids tend to produce eggs with higher levels of these healthy fats.
  • Storage conditions: Proper storage of eggs is important to maintain their quality. Eggs should be stored in the refrigerator at 40 degrees fahrenheit or lower to prevent bacteria growth and maintain freshness.

By understanding the anatomy of an egg yolk, its nutritional value, and the factors affecting its quality, you can make informed decisions about incorporating this nutrient-rich food into your diet.

Identifying Bad Egg Yolks

Cooking with eggs is a fundamental part of many recipes, and egg yolks, in particular, add a rich, creamy flavor to dishes. But, do you know how to tell if an egg yolk has gone bad? Eating a bad egg can potentially lead to food poisoning symptoms, which can be extremely unpleasant.

Therefore, it is essential to know how to identify bad egg yolks before using them in your cooking.

Signs Of Bad Egg Yolks

Here are some signs that can indicate whether an egg yolk has gone bad or not.

  • Foul odor: A rancid smell is probably the easiest way to tell if an egg has gone bad. If the egg yolk smells sulfuric or has a strong odor that is unpleasant, it’s best to discard it.
  • Change in color: Check if the egg yolk has an odd color like green or gray. These colors can indicate that the yolk is no longer fresh.

How To Distinguish Between Good And Bad Egg Yolks

It’s important to learn how to distinguish between good and bad egg yolks, so that you don’t use a rotten yolk in your recipes.

Here’s how to ensure that the yolk you’re using is fresh.

  • Check the date: The older the eggs, the more likely they are to be off. Check the “sell-by” dates on the egg carton to get an idea of freshness.
  • The float test: Fill a bowl with cold water and place the egg in it. If the egg sinks to the bottom, it’s still fresh. If it floats to the top, it is no longer fresh and should be discarded.
  • Crack the egg: A rotten egg yolk will look more flat than a fresh yolk, which is round and plump.

Importance Of Identifying Bad Egg Yolks

Using bad egg yolks can lead to food poisoning, which can be dangerous. Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. Therefore, it is always better to identify bad yolks before including them in your cooking.

It is important to know how to identify bad egg yolks, so that you don’t include them in your meals. By using the guidelines mentioned above, you can ensure that the eggs you use are fresh and safe to consume.

Causes Of Bad Egg Yolks

Factors That Can Cause Egg Yolks To Go Bad

Egg yolks are a rich source of protein, essential vitamins, and minerals. However, they are also susceptible to going bad, especially if not handled correctly.

Here are some of the primary factors that can cause egg yolks to go bad:

  • Freshness: Fresh eggs have yolks that are more vibrant and sturdy. As the egg ages, the yolk loses water, and it becomes more prominent and flatter. The yolk membrane is also weakened with age, making it easier for bacteria to penetrate the egg.
  • Storage: An essential factor in egg yolk spoilage is storage conditions. Storing eggs in a warm place can cause them to spoil quickly, while the ideal temperature is between 33 to 40°f. Refrigerate eggs immediately after purchase and keep them in their original carton.
  • Contamination: Eggs are porous, which means they can absorb odors and flavors from the items around them. They can also get contaminated from dirt, bacteria, and other substances if they are not handled properly.
  • Exposure to air: Exposure to air can cause the yolk to dry out, affecting its overall quality. This can happen if the eggs are left out or if there is a crack in the shell.
  • Freezing: Freezing eggs is not recommended because it can cause the yolk to thicken and become gelatinous. Freezing can also alter the taste and texture of the egg yolk.

Remember that fresh eggs are less likely to spoil quickly, and proper storage can prolong the shelf life of egg yolks.

Use smell and sight to determine if an egg yolk has gone bad. If it emits an unpleasant odor or has a greenish or pinkish hue, it is recommended to discard it.

How To Prevent Bad Egg Yolks

Eggs are an essential part of our daily diet. However, bad egg yolks can be harmful to our health.

Here are some tips for preventing bad egg yolks:

Best Practices For Storing Eggs To Prevent Spoilage

  • Always store eggs in their original container to prevent exposure to air and odors that can quickly spoil them.
  • Store eggs at a consistent temperature between 33°f and 40°f (0.5°c and 4°c) to keep them fresh for a more extended period.
  • Do not store eggs in the refrigerator door, as the temperature fluctuates too much. Instead, store them in the main refrigerator compartment.
  • Keep eggs away from foods with strong odors that could seep into the shells and taint their flavor.

Tips For Selecting Fresh Eggs

  • Always check the carton’s expiration date before purchasing eggs.
  • Inspect the eggs before buying. Crack one open to ensure that the yolk is centered, and the egg white is clear and firm, not watery or discolored.
  • Look for eggs with clean, unbroken shells and avoid any with cracks or unusual smells, as these can be signs of spoilage.

How To Use The Float Test To Check For Egg Freshness

  • Fill a bowl with cold water and place the eggs inside.
  • If the eggs sink to the bottom and lay flat on their sides, they are fresh.
  • If they stand upright on the bottom, they are still edible but not fresh.
  • If the eggs float to the top, they are bad and should be discarded immediately.

Preventing bad egg yolks is all about proper storage and selecting fresh eggs. Follow these tips to keep your eggs fresh and delicious for longer.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Tell If An Egg Yolk Is Bad?

How Do You Test If An Egg Yolk Is Bad?

To test if an egg yolk is bad, you can look for physical signs like discoloration, unpleasant odor or texture.

You can also perform a water test which involves submerging the egg in water to check for its freshness. If the egg floats, it’s bad and if it sinks, it’s good.

What Causes Egg Yolks To Go Bad?

Egg yolks may go bad due to various reasons including bacterial contamination, improper storage, and expiration.

As egg yolks contain high fat content, they tend to go rancid more quickly. There are several factors that may lead to spoilage such as temperature, humidity, and light.

What Happens When You Eat A Bad Egg Yolk?

When you eat a bad egg yolk, it can lead to food poisoning, which can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and fever. This happens due to the presence of bacteria like salmonella in the egg. Eating a bad egg can cause serious health risks, so always check for freshness before consuming.

How Long Do Egg Yolks Last In The Fridge?

If stored properly, egg yolks typically last for two to four days in the refrigerator. To extend the shelf life of egg yolks, you can cover them with water and keep in airtight containers.

Alternatively, you can freeze egg yolks by adding a pinch of salt or sugar to prevent them from getting rubbery.

Can You Eat Raw Egg Yolks?

Raw egg yolks can potentially cause foodborne illnesses, especially if the eggs are not fresh or have been contaminated. It’s always recommended to cook eggs thoroughly before consuming. However, if you want to consume raw egg yolks, it’s advisable to use pasteurized eggs to reduce the risk of bacteria.


Now that you’ve learned the various ways to check if an egg yolk is bad, you can confidently determine its freshness. Remember to observe the dates marked on the carton, use a nose test, and check the yolk’s texture before consuming the egg.

It is necessary to maintain proper food safety measures to avoid any illnesses caused by contaminated food. Consuming spoiled food can lead to food poisoning resulting in diarrhea, vomiting, and other health problems.

Therefore, it is always better to be cautious and discard bad eggs to prevent any adverse effects.

Fresh eggs cooked well can be a tasty and healthy addition to your meals. Follow these tips to make sure you enjoy fresh and delicious eggs every time.