How long can you leave hard boiled eggs out?
Easter is around the corner, and with the holiday comes many traditions—particularly including Easter eggs. But before you get crazy dying and hunting for hard-boiled eggs, remember food safety first, and follow these food safety tips from About.com:
- Wash Up. Like with preparing any food, make sure you wash your hands. Easter is a time for sharing, it’s true, but nobody wants to share germs.
- Keep Cool. When it comes to hard-boiled eggs, time and temperature control is key. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “Cooked eggs, including hard-boiled eggs, and egg-containing foods, should not sit out for more than 2 hours. Within 2 hours either reheat or refrigerate.” You may want to try dying eggs the night before and then keep them refrigerated until right before the Easter Bunny comes to hide them, and then eat or refrigerate eggs afterward. If you expect your Easter egg hunt to last for more than two hours, consider having the Easter Bunny hide plastic eggs instead of hard-boiled ones.
- Throw Out. If the eggs are left out for longer than two hours, throw them out. Similarly, you should throw out any leftover refrigerated eggs that haven’t been eaten within seven days.
P.S. For a good time, check out these Easter egg myths from FarmandDairy.com:
- Myth #1: Easter eggs are safe to eat after your egg hunt is over.
- Myth #2: It is unsafe to eat all dyed Easter eggs.
- Myth #3: Pastel-colored eggs have long-rooted religious significance.
- Myth #4: An Easter egg roll is an American tradition.
- Myth #5: A raw egg will stand on end during the spring equinox.
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Editor’s note: This post was originally published in April 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.