How to properly store boiled eggs:
During the boiling process, the protective layer that covers the outside of the shell is shed, leaving the eggs vulnerable to air and harmful microorganisms.
Therefore, refrigeration is essential to prevent hard-boiled eggs from becoming contaminated or spoiled.
Storing them in the refrigerator helps slow bacteria growth, as potentially dangerous bacteria grow more slowly at temperatures below 40°F (4°C).
Avoid leaving cooked eggs at room temperature for long and refrigerate them within 2 hours of cooking.
It is best to store them in a sealed carton or box. Keep them on the inside shelf instead of by the door, as frequent opening and closing of the refrigerator can cause the temperature in this location to fluctuate.
Initially, you may notice a slight odor in the refrigerator when storing hard-boiled eggs. This is because hydrogen sulfide forms when eggs are boiled.
However, this is normal and harmless, and the odor usually dissipates within a few hours.
Finally, hard-boiled eggs should not be frozen, as both the whites and yolks become chewy and watery, making them less enjoyable to eat.
How long can hard-boiled eggs last before they spoil?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), when stored properly, hard-boiled eggs — with or without the shell — can be kept safely in the refrigerator for about 1 week.
If you’re not sure how long a hard-boiled egg will keep, first check the shell for mucus or chalk. If so, throw the egg out to be safe.
It is important not to eat eggs that are overcooked as this can put you at risk of foodborne illness with symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
Hard-boiled eggs can have an unpleasant, distinctive odor. If the egg is still in its shell, you may have to break the egg in half to assess the smell.
Many people panic if the yolk of a hard-boiled egg is gray-green. However, this does not necessarily mean that your eggs are spoiled.
The color of the yolk changes depending on the cooking time and the cooking temperature. When eggs are boiled for a long time, the yolk becomes paler and eventually turns greyish green.
This color appears when you overcook the eggs, as this causes the iron from the yolk to react with the hydrogen sulfide from the white.
While this may affect the texture and appetite, it is still safe to eat.
Do eggs need to be refrigerated?
While most Americans keep their eggs in the refrigerator, many Europeans do not.
This is because authorities in most European countries consider it unnecessary to keep eggs in the refrigerator. But in the United States, it’s considered unsafe to store eggs at room temperature.
As such, you may be wondering about the best way to keep eggs.
This article tells you whether eggs need to be refrigerated.
- Salmonella is a bacteria that commonly causes foodborne illnesses. How countries treat eggs for Salmonella determines whether they need to be refrigerated.
- In the United States and some other countries, eggs are washed, pasteurized, and refrigerated to minimize bacteria. Eggs in these countries must be refrigerated to minimize the risk of contamination.
- In most European countries, Salmonella is controlled by preventive measures such as vaccination. Farms are generally not allowed to wash eggs, so the cuticle is still intact, no need to refrigerate.
Refrigerators keep eggs fresh for twice as long as eggs at room temperature. However, they must be stored properly to avoid changes in taste and temperature.
If you throw out expired eggs on the box, you may be wasting perfectly good eggs.
If stored properly, eggs can last for at least 3-5 weeks in the refrigerator and about a year in the freezer.
The longer eggs are stored, the lower the quality, less chewy and easy to water.
However, old eggs are still good for some uses. They are ideal for boiling and can be used for omelettes, scrambled eggs or baked egg dishes.
If you’re not sure how long an egg has been refrigerated, crack it into a clean dish and check it for a normal smell before using it.