Food: Egg
Egg Dating   (+3, -5)  [vote for, against]
Do you know how old that thing is?

Pretty simple idea; stamp the harvest or "laid-on" date on the eggs when they're collected. Not the best method for freshness testing, t'be sure, but certainly a literal "at-a-glance" method for selecting eggs that is one step more affirming than the "eat by around . . . oh, how 'bout May?" stamp that most cartons bear.
-- contracts, Jul 04 2004

little lion mark is a start... http://www.britegg....n/startsection.html
[po, Oct 17 2004]

Not to devalue the idea but storage conditions can make a 2 day old date-stamped egg worse than a one week old unstamped egg that has been better stored.

One old way to test is whether or not the wider end of the egg floats. That's where the air cell, or pocket, is in an egg. Because eggs lose both carbon dioxide and moisture over time, the egg mass will shrink and the empty space within the shell will get larger and larger. (In a fresh egg, the empty area is about an eighth of an inch thick and about a half inch in diameter.) A fresh egg will usually sink in cold water while a less fresh egg might sink very slowly standing with the wide end up, towards, or above, the surface of the water (is that a standing ovation?) A rotten one will float.

Of course, doing a float test in the store might be a little difficult.

Another way to test the freshness is to “candle” the egg. This means to hold the egg in front of a bright light to see what the interior of the egg looks like. An older egg will have a large air pocket but, also, the white of the egg will be much clearer, or more able to pass light, than a fresh egg. This is because, once laid, the pH of the egg begins to rise immediately and, the higher the pH, the more the proteins in the white, or albumen, repel each other and become less apt to clump into clusters that deflect the light. So, the white of an older and more alkaline egg is clearer than a fresh egg.

So, I suppose you could take a bright light source, a flashlight, into a store and look at the eggs. Maybe there's a possibility for an invention there. A portable, non-destructive egg freshness tester.
-- bristolz, Jul 04 2004

my eggs are individually date-stamped.
-- jonthegeologist, Jul 04 2004

Thought it was a dating serivce for eggs. Well, it's not. Misleading title, isn't it?
Looking inside my fridge, the eggs are all stamped with the last date to consume, so I guess it's baked as well.
-- shibolim, Jul 04 2004

Ha ha ha, I thought exactly the same, shibolim.
-- Pericles, Jul 04 2004

[po]'s link is not only the start, it's the middle and end too. So-called 'Lion quality' eggs must carry a 'best before' date which must be within 21 days of lay. With a bit of simple math, this is baked, poached, scrambled or whatever.
-- angel, Jul 05 2004

I do the floaty egg thing too.
-- DrBob, Jul 05 2004

In Europe all eggs (unless they come hot from the chicken's cloaca) are stamped with the date of production and also a code for the farming method, i.e. battery egg, free-range, organic etc. I suppose we should be thankful that they don't have to conform to a European norm for the perfect eggy shape. So, baked, or should that be lightly boiled?
-- squeak, Jul 05 2004

Great anno, [Bristolz].
-- spacemoggy, Jul 05 2004

As someone (Clement Freud?) said, an egg that floats is fit for nothing else.
-- angel, Jul 05 2004

you can get salmonella from a fresh egg btw - always embarrassing, particularly on a first date...
-- bored42, Jul 05 2004

You mean from RAW egg, no?

Generally, salmonella is contracted only from contact with the outer surface of the shell. The interior of the egg, within the membrane, is usually sterile. So wash the egg before you crack it.

That said, I won't eat raw egg or even runny egg.
-- bristolz, Jul 05 2004

I didn't think it was a dating service for eggs, but I {{did}} think it was a quick-boiled meal & a 2-minute speed dating session rolled into one. :)
-- not_only_but_also, Jul 06 2004

That's for listeria, not salmonella. Soft cheese is allegedly another culprit.
-- angel, Jul 06 2004

Except death by chocolate.
-- bristolz, Jul 06 2004

Hm, chocolate covered bris...
Aw c'mon I wasn't the only one who misread that. Sorry, I...I gotta go now.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jul 07 2004

Well, I see a lot of different notions and solutions . . . are there UK eggs that are stamped with the "laid-on" date? The eggs we get at supermarkets in the US (at least, everywhere I've been) do have a "use by" date. It really isn't clear exactly what that date is based on, and damned if I don't trust it. The notion of "created on" is very common now with beverages, particularly beer over here. I think it would be a simple step . . . and save one buying a package of eggs that seem fresh but cannot be illuminated in a store for obvious reasons.

[squeak], individual eggs? That would be a-mighty impressive, and exactly what I was thinking of. Now we need a method to prevent counterfeits . . . . heh.
-- contracts, Jul 07 2004

Or they switch the shells.
-- FarmerJohn, Jul 07 2004

Thought it was dating based on what kind of eggs you liked to eat, or how you liked them done, or how many eggs you could eat in one setting, or who could throw their egg the farthest, or who colored their eggs like your during easter, or whose egg you found in a big easter egg hunt, or who could drop their egg the farthest without it breaking only using a handkerchief, three straws, a paper towel roll, and a foot of fishing line, or, or.. wait, time for my pills...


mm.. sorry. good idea [contracts]! [+]
-- daseva, Jul 07 2004

Well, I am reminded of when I first became divorced, and reentered the market. I met a great many women who's biological clocks were ticking loud, and my vasectomy was a showstopper.
-- normzone, Jan 05 2005

I caught an investigative news show once that showed egg farms taking the eggs sent back past their date stamp from supermarkets, floating them in a solution that removes the ink, re-stamping the non-floaters, and packaging them to go back to the store. If this can happen to the sell-by date, it can happen to the laid-on date.
-- Worldgineer, Jan 05 2005

random, halfbakery