Hard-boiled eggs are a popular and nutritious snack, particularly when no other food is being prepared. They provide substantial sustenance that can satiate hunger for an extended period. However, if you inadvertently leave your hard-boiled eggs out overnight, is it safe to consume them?
Although there is a discussion on whether hard-boiled eggs can be left out overnight without any harm, it is recommended not to leave them out for more than two hours, just like most cooked foods. When the temperature exceeds 40Â°F-140Â°F, dangerous bacteria like salmonella start to grow and make the eggs unsuitable for eating.
There has been a lot of debate about whether hard-boiled eggs can be left outside the refrigerator and for how long. Continue reading to gain knowledge about safety precautions related to eating hard-boiled eggs.
Tip: Check out Today’s deal on the Instant Pot Pro XL 11-in-1. (It’s 50% off on Amazon!!)
How Long Can Boiled Eggs Sit Out?
When hard boiled eggs are left at room temperature for a long time, they can easily become contaminated with harmful bacteria, just like any other food.
According to most food safety specialists, hard-boiled eggs that have been left out for more than two hours should be discarded rather than consumed.
Boiling eggs can weaken the shell’s strength as a result of the heat used during the process.
When the protective layer of an egg is removed, it becomes vulnerable to bacterial contamination and its shell may become fragile and prone to cracking.
When the hard-boiled egg’s shell is cracked or has holes from boiling, the inner part of the egg becomes vulnerable to harmful bacteria present in the surrounding air seeking a host.
Hard boiled eggs, as well as other types of food left out, have the potential to accumulate harmful bacteria that can proliferate and put the safety of the egg at risk.
According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), it is advised to place the boiled eggs in an ice bath immediately after boiling to rapidly cool them down.
After cooling, hard boiled eggs must be stored in a container and kept in the fridge if they won’t be consumed immediately.
Raw or boiled eggs are not refrigerated in many countries outside the United States due to differences in processing methods.
Similar to other dairy products, eggs in the US undergo a scrubbing process to eliminate contaminants and bacteria from unhygienic farming conditions by removing their protective layer.
Removing the natural protective layer of eggs during scrubbing necessitates refrigeration for safety reasons.
Boiled eggs are frequently stored outside the fridge in some countries, unlike the standard practice, even after they have been boiled.
How Can You Tell if a Hard Boiled Egg Has Gone Bad?
If a hard-boiled egg is spoiled, it usually emits a strong sulfuric smell that is most noticeable when the shell is removed, although there may be other indications of expiration such as taste and appearance, the odor is typically the first thing people notice.
Typically, the scent of a spoiled hard-boiled egg may not be immediately noticeable as it is likely confined within the shell.
If the hard boiled eggs’ exterior has cracks or holes from cooking, the smell can spread more easily.
If you want to determine if a hard-boiled egg has spoiled, it is probable that you will have to take it out of its shell and conduct some basic tests to guarantee that it is safe to eat.
If you detect a bad smell after peeling the egg, it is advisable to dispose of it as it is probably spoiled.
Another factor to consider is the appearance of the egg if there is no unpleasant smell. You can inspect the outer shell and the egg itself after removing the shell.
It may be necessary to slice open the hard boiled egg to check for any discoloration that could indicate spoilage.
Ultimately, in case the odor and look appear ordinary, it might be advisable to sample a small portion to confirm if the flavor is usual.
If you are checking for spoilage, it is advisable to avoid taking a large bite of the hard-boiled egg and instead opt for a small nibble to determine if it tastes normal.
Hard-boiled eggs should be discarded if left out overnight, as a general rule of thumb.
If hard boiled eggs have been stored in the refrigerator for over a week, it is advisable to discard them.
What Happens if You Eat a Boiled Egg That Has Gone Bad?
Regarding consuming a hard boiled egg that has spoiled, some individuals may not encounter any sickness, while others will inevitably experience symptoms after ingestion.
If you eat a spoiled boiled egg, it can lead to different illnesses or infections, which may depend on your health and specific risk factors. In most cases, Salmonella infection is the main cause of consuming rotten eggs, resulting in symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.
To avoid any unpleasant experiences, it is advisable to monitor your boiled eggs regularly.
Typically, refrigerated hard-boiled eggs can remain edible for up to a week or more, but it’s important to be cautious and confirm their freshness before consuming.
It is crucial to remain hydrated, particularly if you are over 65 or have a weakened immune system, as the sickness results from Salmonella infection and other bacteria that thrive in spoiled food.
If you suspect that you have consumed a hard boiled egg that has spoiled, there is no way to avoid negative consequences, but there are measures you can take to look after your well-being.
It is important to remember that the symptoms of food poisoning must naturally subside, however, it is advisable to stay hydrated and have someone available to monitor you in case medical attention is necessary.
How Long Do Hard Boiled Eggs Last in the Fridge?
If the shell is not cracked, hard-boiled eggs can be refrigerated for a maximum of seven days, but without the shell, they will only last for five days in the fridge due to the loss of their protective layer during boiling.
It is common knowledge that refrigerated raw eggs can last for 5-6 weeks, as they are usually coated to prevent bacterial contamination when sold in grocery stores.
Boiling eggs removes their protective layer, leaving them vulnerable to harmful bacteria that can enter through cracks and porous areas of the shell.
Refrigerating hard boiled eggs once they have cooled can typically delay bacterial growth for about a week.
Although some individuals consume hard boiled eggs stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks, it is advised by the Food and Drug Administration to limit consumption to a maximum of seven days.
Keeping eggs in the refrigerator for more than a week can expose you to different types of food-borne diseases.
Some folks peel their hard-boiled eggs after boiling and then store them in the fridge. As long as they are kept in an airtight container with a wet paper towel to keep them from drying out, unpeeled boiled eggs can remain fresh for up to five days when refrigerated.
Hard boiled eggs that have had their shells removed will not last as long in the refrigerator since they lack the protective layer that helps to keep them moist and fresh, causing them to dry out over time.
It is advised against leaving hard-boiled eggs outside the refrigerator overnight to prevent the risk of food poisoning.
Similar to other edibles, hard boiled eggs must be stored in a refrigerator within two hours of cooking to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria that can spoil the food.
You can also check this video about “Can You Leave Hard Boiled Eggs Out Overnight?”
Check out our 10 reviews!