Are Cracked Eggs Safe to Eat?

Many chicken owners will raise chickens for their eggs. After all, there’s nothing like fresh eggs each morning. When collecting the eggs from the nest or on your way back to the kitchen, one or more of the eggs cracked. If that happens, you may wonder if cracked eggs are safe to eat.

So, are cracked eggs safe to eat? Chickens are known carriers of salmonella. The bacteria will be excreted through their waste. If the egg is cracked, and it’s dirty, whether from mud or chicken poop, discard the egg. On the other hand, the egg is cracked, and it’s clean, it’s safe to eat. If you’re unsure how long the egg has been cracked, it’s best to throw it away.

Why Are Cracked Eggs Dangerous to Eat?

An egg’s shell is excellent at preventing germs from entering the egg. Salmonella and other illnesses may live on the egg’s surface, but they can’t get inside until the shell is shattered. Surface bacteria are typically unimportant until the egg is broken because humans don’t consume the eggshells.

It takes time for germs to move inside an egg, even after it has been cracked. However, anything unpleasant will almost likely damage the egg over time, especially if the membrane inside the shell has also ruptured, as this serves as a second layer of protection.

The egg will remain longer if the membrane isn’t ruptured, but it should still be handled with care and avoided if you don’t know when the break in the shell first occurred.

Bacteria on the shells of old eggs is more likely, since any particles have had time to proliferate. This increases the risk of germs spreading to the egg when the shell is shattered, and if this happens, the egg is unsafe to eat.

So how can you know if the egg was broken in the supermarket or while driving home? If you failed to check the eggs in the shop (which you should often do to avoid this problem), you simply don’t know, and the egg should be thrown away.

Keep in mind that a broken egg is not the same as a spoiled egg. Bacteria won’t make the egg smell unpleasant, so you won’t know if it’s safe to eat. If you eat it, you might get food poisoning. You should toss the egg unless you know it has only recently been broken.

Why Is It Safe to Eat Freshly Cracked Eggs?

That may make you question why a newly cracked egg isn’t at risk of containing salmonella. The basic explanation is that the bacteria haven’t had enough time to enter into the egg and expand, therefore the danger is still very low. However, the longer the egg is cracked yet uncooked, the higher the risk of bacteria in it.

If you collected the eggs from your hens and break an egg that has chicken excrement on it, you may want to toss the egg away. Chickens are known to carry salmonella, and there’s a good chance the bacteria will be in their waste when they excrete it.

You may be wondering how long an egg can be broken before it becomes hazardous, but this is a topic that no one can fully answer. The egg’s safety reduces as soon as it cracks and determining when it is judged hazardous is a question of judgment.

Similarly, the size of a crack has an impact. A little crack, as opposed to a big crack or numerous cracks, is less dangerous.

Some individuals will throw away a broken egg, whereas the majority will eat one that has only cracked within an hour or so.

What Should You Do If You Accidentally Crack An Egg?

If you accidentally crack an egg, it’s best to not try to store it as is. You should crack the eggs and transfer the content to an airtight container.

Cover the jar and toss the shell in the compost bin. To keep the egg fresh for as long as possible, use some clingfilm, but limit the airflow to a minimum. Put it in the refrigerator.

The egg should then be used up as soon as possible. If you don’t utilize it within two days of breaking it, you risk germs developing in the egg once more.

What about if the egg cracked while you’re boiling it? If that happens, it’s perfectly fine to eat the eggs. Salmonella and any other bacteria will be killed when the water boils.

Backyard Chickens Eggs That Are Cracked

There’s nothing more satisfying than eggs from your chickens. Sometimes, you will get cracked eggs when collecting them from the nest, or maybe it’s cracked on your way back to the house.

It’s important to know when backyard chicken eggs are safe to eat or not, when it’s cracked.

Cracked Clean Eggs

If the egg is clean, meaning there is no mud, debris, or chicken poop on the shell, it’s safe to eat them.

Once you get into the kitchen, break the egg into a small bowl, cover it with plastic film, and place it into the refrigerator. Make sure to use the egg within 2 days. If it’s been longer than 2 days, discard the egg, as bacteria will likely contaminate the egg already.

Cracked Dirty Eggs

If the egg is cracked and there are mud and poop on it, it’s best to throw it away. There’s a good chance the egg is contaminated with harmful bacteria, and you won’t want to take a chance eating it.

If you don’t want to throw it away, you can cook the egg and give it to your chicken. The chicken will eat their own egg, but make sure to cook it well so that it doesn’t look similar to raw egg. If so, it could lead the chicken to eat their own eggs next time.


If you’ve just broken an egg, you may either put it in a clean container for later use or eat it right immediately. If you don’t know when an egg was cracked and it’s been cracked for a long period, you should toss it out. Never try to eat an egg that is contaminated with harmful bacteria, as it will lead to food poisoning.