I recently bought a dozen eggs. But when I cracked them, they smelled bad, though they didn't float on water (which means they're good). When checking closely, I found out that even the unopened eggs smell bad but I put them in the ref anyway.

When I checked again, 1-2 days later, the smell was gone (i didn't wash them or anything).

why did they smell bad and were they safe?

  • Egg shell is porous and outside smells can infiltrate the egg, which, depending on how and where they were stored before you bought them, might explain the smell. But I don't know if smells are known to leave the egg again. Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 12:02
  • Smelling bad isn't a very good descriptor. Bad eggs smell really bad, but it's a specific kind of smell. So when you said smell bad, did you mean just real strong eggy smell or the smell of farts, or do you mean the smell of dead things?
    – Escoce
    Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 13:36
  • @Escoce i didn't smell like "bad eggs" like rotten eggs.. but it just smells kind of off from the usual. kind of the really strong eggy smell.
    – binsnoel
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 5:16

2 Answers 2


Based on the circumstances and your comments, I'd have to guess that the eggs probably just taken out of the crates they were stored in, and therefore the egg smell built up in the cellulose carton.


If intact eggs smelled bad when you first got them and after a couple of days smelled fine - then the source of the bad smell was on the surface of the shell. For example, if they stood near fish while delivered to stored.

As the W.vRumpt said, since the egg shell is porous the bad smell could penetrate it. How do a cracked egg smell?

By the way, take note that eggs with intact shell hardly ever spoil. They get dry in time, but not rotten.

  • Uh, eggs definitely spoil, intact shell or no. After a long enough time, the rotten egg dries out, but even a 30-year-old, thoroughly-dried-out pysanky will stink if you accidentally break it.
    – Marti
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 16:00
  • This is interesting. Is this one of the reasons why most of the world does NOT wash eggs before sales, leaving the protective layer intact...because I ate eggs stored in sunlight, next to the worst smells imaginable in Asia, and no taste difference whatsoever. This might actually be a question by itself...
    – Marc Luxen
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 19:34

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