How to Determine if Duck Eggs are Bad

How to Determine if Duck Eggs are Bad

Here’s How To Tell if Duck Eggs Are Bad


Duck eggs are a popular choice for many people due to their rich and unique flavor. However, just like any other food, duck eggs can go bad if not properly stored or handled. It’s important to be able to determine if a duck egg is still good to eat or if it has gone bad to avoid any foodborne illnesses. In this article, we will discuss some common signs that indicate a duck egg is bad and what you should do if you come across one.

How Long Do Duck Eggs Last?

Before we dive into the signs of a bad duck egg, let’s talk about how long these eggs typically last. Duck eggs have a longer shelf life compared to chicken eggs due to their thicker shells and higher fat content. On average, fresh duck eggs can last for up to six weeks when stored in the refrigerator.

However, it’s worth mentioning that the freshness of a duck egg can also depend on how it was handled and stored before it reached your hands. If the eggs were not properly stored or transported, their shelf life may be decreased.

Signs That a Duck Egg Has Gone Bad

Now, let’s take a look at some common signs that indicate a duck egg has gone bad:

1. Strange Smell

Fresh duck eggs have a mild smell, similar to chicken eggs. However, if you notice a strong, foul odor coming from the egg, it’s a clear indication that it has gone bad. The smell could be reminiscent of sulfur or rotten eggs. Trust your nose and discard any eggs that have a pungent smell.

2. Changes in Texture

When cracked open, a fresh duck egg should have a clear, thick white (albumen) with a gel-like consistency. As the egg ages, the white may become thinner and more watery. Additionally, if you notice any signs of mold or a greenish tinge to the white, it’s a sign that the egg has spoiled and should be thrown away.

The yolk of a fresh duck egg should be round and firm. If the yolk appears flat, runny, or discolored, it’s an indication of spoilage. Remember that duck eggs have a richer yolk color compared to chicken eggs, so don’t confuse the natural color variation with spoilage.

3. Float Test

The float test is a simple yet effective way to determine if a duck egg (or any egg, for that matter) is bad. Fill a bowl or glass with water and gently place the egg in it. If the egg sinks to the bottom and lays flat on its side, it is fresh and safe to eat. On the other hand, if the egg floats or stands upright, it has gone bad and should be discarded immediately.

4. Cracks or Leaks

Cracks or leaks in a duck egg’s shell provide an entry point for bacteria and air, accelerating the spoilage process. Inspect the egg carefully before cracking it open. If you notice any cracks or leaks, it’s best to err on the side of caution and throw it away to avoid any potential bacterial contamination.

What to Do with Bad Duck Eggs

If you determine that a duck egg has gone bad, it’s important to dispose of it properly to prevent any risk of foodborne illnesses. Never consume eggs that are visibly spoiled or give off a foul odor, as they can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella.

Instead of throwing the egg directly into the trash, consider burying it in your garden as a source of natural fertilizer. This way, you can still put the egg to good use without risking any contamination.


In conclusion, being able to tell if a duck egg has gone bad is crucial for your health and safety. Remember to trust your senses, including your sense of smell and sight, when assessing the freshness of a duck egg. Don’t rely solely on expiration dates or packaging claims.

By recognizing the signs of spoilage and properly disposing of bad duck eggs, you can ensure that your culinary adventures using these unique eggs will always result in delicious meals, free from any potential health risks.

My 2 Cents

When it comes to food safety, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. While duck eggs are a versatile and tasty ingredient, it’s important to properly handle and store them to avoid any risk of foodborne illnesses. By following the tips mentioned in this article, you can confidently enjoy the rich flavor of fresh and safe-to-eat duck eggs. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out!