Can you leave eggs out overnight?
In this article, we will explore the question, “Can I leave eggs out overnight?” We will also address thow to properly store eggs.
Can you leave eggs out overnight?
No, it is not safe to leave eggs out overnight. According to the USDA, eggs should not be left unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours, and this time decreases to 1 hour if the outside temperature is 90°F or 32°C or higher (1).
Leaving eggs out at room temperature can promote bacterial growth, including Salmonella. It is important to refrigerate eggs as soon as possible to maintain their safety and prevent the risk of contamination (2).
In many countries, unrefrigerated eggs are commercially available with a shorter shelf life (around 3 weeks), using appropriate sanitization methods and/or surface coating (2).
When raw eggs are left unrefrigerated, they can reach ambient temperature, but once placed in refrigeration conditions, they should remain there.
How to know if cooked eggs are spoiled?
To determine if cooked eggs are spoiled, you can observe several signs.
Firstly, the texture of the egg can provide clues. Freshly cooked eggs have a firm and springy texture, while spoiled eggs may appear watery or slimy (2).
Additionally, the aroma of the cooked eggs is important. Fresh eggs have a pleasant smell, whereas spoiled eggs emit an unpleasant, sulfur-like, or foul odor (2).
Lastly, visually inspect the cooked eggs for any signs of discoloration, mold, or unusual texture, as these may indicate spoilage (2).
How can cooked eggs be stored?
It is important to consume or refrigerate eggs promptly after preparation. They can be safely stored in a sealed container for up to two days (3).
Avoid consuming any cooked eggs that have been left out overnight. The quality of cooked eggs can vary depending on the cooking method (4).
Hard-boiled eggs, for example, are often enjoyed cold and delicious. Hard-boiled yolks will be good for about 2 days at steady refrigeration temperatures. If you do not intend to eat the eggs immediately after reheating, place them in the refrigerator (3 and 4).
How are eggs stored without a fridge?
You may choose not to refrigerate your eggs if you live in a country where eggs are not washed or if you collect eggs from your own vaccinated hens in your backyard.
It is important to remember to always wash your eggs before using them. Avoid washing them and leaving them on your counter (4 and 5).
After handling dirty eggs, always wash your hands. Using an egg storage device designed for this purpose is a great idea. It not only protects your counter and the rest of your kitchen from accidental breakage, but also helps prevent contamination (5).
Unrefrigerated eggs should be consumed within 3 weeks and do not have the same shelf life as refrigerated eggs (2).
What are the risks of eating cooked eggs that were left out overnight?
Eating cooked eggs that were left out overnight poses certain risks to your health.
There is an increased chance of foodborne illnesses, particularly Salmonella infection, which can result in symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain (3).
Diarrhea is an indication of harmful substances, while abdominal pain accompanied by vomiting and nausea indicates food poisoning (3).
Consuming eggs that have been left out can also lead to an elevated body temperature and fever, which may signal underlying health issues. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience these symptoms to receive appropriate treatment.
Other FAQs about Eggs that you may be interested in.
In this article, we have addressed the question, ‘Can I leave eggs out overnight?’ Not safe to leave eggs out overnight. Unrefrigerated eggs stored at room temperature if not previously refrigerated. Consume within 3 weeks, shorter shelf life than refrigerated eggs.
1. USDA. Food Safety and Inspection Service: Why should eggs be refrigerated? [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jul 07]. Available from:
2. Torrico DD, No HK, Prinyawiwatkul W, Janes M, Corredor JA, Osorio LF. Mineral oil–chitosan emulsion coatings affect quality and shelf‐life of coated eggs during refrigerated and room temperature storage. Journal of Food Science. 2011 May;76(4):S262-8. Available from:
3. Linscott AJ. Food-Borne Illnesses. Clin Microbiol Newsl [Internet]. 2011;33(6):41–5. Available from:
4. FDA. U. S. Food and Drug Administration. How Temperatures Affect Food. [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jun 26]. Available from: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/food-safety-basics/how-temperatures-affect-food
5. FDA. U. S. Food and Drug Administration. What You Need to Know About Egg Safety. [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jun 26]. Available from: https://www.fda.gov/food/buy-store-serve-safe-food/what-you-need-know-about-egg-safety#:~:text=Wash%20hands%2C%20utensils%2C%20equipment%2C,cooked%20to%20160%C2%B0%20F.