How Long Can Cooked Eggs Sit Out
Eggs are without a doubt, one of the best protein sources on earth. They should be a part of everyone’s daily diet to ensure the proper growth and health of a person. Eggs are also an excellent choice for those who are on diet as they provide plenty of energy and have excellent nutritional value.
However, eggs are not safe to eat at all times – any rotten food including eggs can make us severely ill. A huge number of people fall sick every year as a result of consuming contaminated or rotten eggs. So, to live a healthy life, it is necessary to know how long do eggs last?
How Long Can Cooked Eggs Sit Out?
Cooked eggs, which have been left to sit for two or more than two hours in room temperature, are no longer safe to eat. These foods have already begun to sweat which is an excellent medium for bacteria to multiply.
Even dishes containing cooked eggs need to be stored properly to avoid contamination. It is definitely necessary to refrigerate such foods and dishes which should be consumed in three to four days maximum.
Also, if what you are storing has hot eggs in them, it will be best to split the dish into smaller portions and refrigerate them in smaller containers. This will result in speedy cooling and slower bacterial growth – keeping the food fresh for a longer period of time.
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How Long Can Boiled Eggs Sit Out?
Many people have the misconception that boiled eggs will remain safe from contamination for a longer period in comparison to uncooked eggs. But what they do not realize is that while cooking, the protective film of the eggshell is destroyed. This means that this egg is more susceptible to getting spoilt as it can no longer defend itself from bacteria and germs. So, whether the boiled egg has the shell on or not, it is not safe to keep it in room temperature for more than two hours.
Your best option, in the case you want to prolong the shelf life of boiled eggs, is to refrigerate it for up to a week. You may even freeze it but that is not recommended by food experts. If you are from the UK or any European country, the eggs should last longer since the chickens in these countries are vaccinated.
How Long Can Scrambled Eggs Sit Out?
Just like boiled eggs, scrambled eggs are also a perishable food item. In most cases, the scrambled eggs will remain fresh and safe to be consumed for nearly two hours. Anything more than that time span, we recommend the dish makes its way to the garbage. Of course, this rule is only applicable for the US citizens and countries where the eggs are washed and sanitized instead of the chickens being vaccinated.
Can Eggs Be Left Out?
Different stores sell eggs in different ways – some refrigerate their eggs but others keep them in room temperature. If you are one of those people who buy unrefrigerated eggs, then you have two options. The first will be to store the eggs in the refrigerator and the second option would be to let them sit on the counter at room temperature.
Now, we know the second option may make you think – would not the eggs go bad if they are sitting out in normal temperatures? Yes, they would. But before they go bad, they can be stored at room temperature for anywhere about 1 week to 3 full weeks! The eggs would remain in perfect condition during this period, meaning they would be safe to eat!
The downside is that when the first week has gone by, the quality of the eggs will also start to deteriorate from then onwards. When you hit the 21 day deadline, the egg will no longer be safe to consume. This is because its own protective layers and defenses will no longer function after this point.
Now, you could make the eggs last a little longer by putting them in the refrigerator or freezer. However, we should warn you that even after keeping them in cooler temperatures, these eggs will not last for much longer.
A point to be noted – you can store eggs like this only if you are not living in the US. The hens outside of US are vaccinated to prevent salmonella. So, the eggs are neither washed or refrigerated but are safe to eat and store in room temperatures.
How Long Can Eggs Sit Out?
For US citizens and people from countries where eggs are washed and sanitized, it is mandatory for eggs to be refrigerated in both stores and at homes. This is done to avoid salmonella contamination among the eggs.
While this washing and sanitizing step is effective in keeping bacteria at bay, it is actually quite harmful to the eggs as it strips the eggs of their natural protective layer. This causes the eggs to become more prone to bacterial contamination as the bacteria can easily makes its way through the shell and then eventually spoil the egg.
The solution to this problem is obviously storing the eggs in a refrigerator with temperatures below 40°F. This effectively can slow bacterial growth and make it difficult for the bacteria to move through the shell. Storing eggs using this method, is the best course of action as this is an absolutely foolproof procedure.
It is unusual for an egg, which has been refrigerated, to go bad. Nonetheless, you should not rule out the possibility of contamination because any misstep in handling the eggs could lead the egg to become spoilt.
It is true that refrigerated eggs are safer to consume but storing them in the cold conditions for a very long time will result in the loss of egg quality. The more the time will pass, the more the yolk and whites will thin and dry up. This will be the courtesy of air pockets in the eggs that expand from being stored in refrigerators.
With proper storage and care, the eggs will have a long shelf life of about 4-5 weeks. But once you have taken it out of the refrigerator, it will not be wise to keep the eggs out for too long. Condensation on the egg’s shell will only help the bacteria to move easily through the shell and make it unfit to be eaten. In such cases, the shelf life would be a maximum of two hours, after which it is recommended to not be used.
So, in summary, any egg from the US and the countries with the same rules will only last for two hours in room temperature. After that, it will be a risk to use such an egg that may contain salmonella. When infected with salmonella, people tend to get very ill. Most people will suffer from serious diarrhea which eventually leads to dehydration. Others may have fever and abdominal pain accompanied by vomiting. In the most serious cases, if the patient is not treated with antibiotics, death may occur.
Hence, for a safe, healthy life store eggs properly. And avoid buying eggs with cracked and dirty shells. This will save you a trip to the doctor and ensure fine health.