How long can scrambled eggs sit out?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long can scrambled eggs sit out” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of scrambled eggs at room temperature. Moreover, we are going to discuss different ways to spot bad scrambled eggs and the health implications of eating spoiled scrambled eggs.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long can scrambled eggs sit out?

Scrambled eggs last for about 2 hours when left out of the fridge at room temperature. 

You should discard the scrambled eggs that have been left in open for more than 2 hours as bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore there are greater chances of the scrambled eggs being already contaminated with bacteria when left out for more than 2 hours.

Moreover, if the temperature of the surroundings is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then the process of spoilage takes place at a faster pace and it is recommended to discard scrambled eggs that are left out in the open for more than an hour at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the optimum temperature to store scrambled eggs?

You should always store your scrambled eggs at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below in the fridge. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore it is always advised to store scrambled eggs at a lower temperature to preserve their freshness for a  long time.

Different ways to spot spoiled scrambled eggs

There are a couple of indicators that point out spoiled scrambled eggs. You should consider the appearance and smell of the scrambled eggs to reach a  final verdict on whether or not they have gone bad.

Appearance

If you sport a mold or any other organic growth on your scrambled eggs then the best thing to do in this scenario is to discard such scrambled eggs.

Smell 

If you smell something sour, ammonia-like, or something that does not smell like scrambled eggs themselves while taking a sniff test of your scrambled eggs then it means that your scrambled eggs have gone bad.

If microbes somehow found their way to your scrambled eggs and have spoiled it then the best thing you should do is to discard them.

Health implications of eating spoiled scrambled eggs

If you have devoured spoiled scrambled eggs that have Salmonella in them, it can result in food poisoning (Salmonella poisoning) that is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, weakness, headaches, and dehydration.

A mild food poisoning lasts for about a day or two while a more persistent case of food poisoning can last for about 10 days.

  1. Diarrhea is an indication of the body that a certain obnoxious agent has entered. So consumption of expired or bacteria-laden scrambled eggs often causes diarrhea.
  1. Food poisoning after consuming bad scrambled eggs is characterized by abdominal pain. Abdominal pain is also accompanied by vomiting and nausea in most cases.
  1. If you have consumed scrambled eggs that have bacterial growth on them then you will experience nausea and vomiting which is the natural defense of the body to get rid of the unwanted harmful substance that has entered the body.
  1. Consuming scrambled eggs that have gone bad will also raise your body temperature and you can experience fever which is the natural defense mechanism of your body and is the indicator that something is off with your body.

So in case you have devoured bad scrambled eggs and are now suffering from vomiting and diarrhea,  you should try to drink as much water as possible so that while the body is getting rid of the toxins in form of diarrhea and vomiting, the water that you drink will protect your body against dehydration that vomiting can otherwise result in.

Moreover, the symptoms of severe and potentially life-threatening food poisoning involve diarrhea persisting for more than 3 days, fever higher than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, symptoms of severe dehydration, and bloody urine. In such a case, you should seek medical help immediately.

You can read more about Salmonella poisoning here.

Tips to properly store scrambled eggs

  1. The best way to store scrambled eggs is to store them in an air-tight bag or container in the fridge within 2 hours of it being prepared.
  1. Always opt for shallow air-tight containers for storing scrambled eggs.
  1. Always be sure to refrigerate scrambled eggs at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. It is better to store scrambled eggs on one of the shelves of the refrigerator rather than the door as there is a lot of temperature fluctuation at the door of the fridge.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long can scrambled eggs sit out” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of scrambled eggs at room temperature. Moreover, we discussed different ways to spot bad scrambled eggs and the health implications of eating spoiled scrambled eggs.

Citations

https://www.fda.gov/food/buy-store-serve-safe-food/what-you-need-know-about-egg-safety#:~:text=Never%20leave%20cooked%20eggs%20or,F%20and%20140%C2%B0%20F).
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325210#:~:text=of%20bacterial%20growth.-,Health%20risks%20of%20eating%20a%20bad%20egg,the%20yolk%20and%20egg%20white.

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.