How long do hard-boiled eggs stay good?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “How long do hard-boiled eggs stay good?” and will discuss how to properly store the hard-boiled eggs.

How long do hard-boiled eggs stay good?

Hard-boiled eggs stay good for about one week, regardless of how they’re stored. Hard-boiled eggs should be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator, such as Glad Entrée Food Containers to let them stay fresh. According to the USDA foodkeeper data online, cooked eggs should be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week and should not be freezed. 

How to preserve boiled eggs properly?

Boiling removes the shell’s protective coating, exposing the eggs to air and potentially dangerous germs. As a result, to keep hard-boiled eggs safe from contamination or spoilage, they must be kept refrigerated.

Hard cooked eggs are produced commercially by boiling shell eggs in water for several minutes, followed by immediate cooling, peeling, and packing in a preservative solution that generally reduces the prevalence of microbial pathogens. However, recontamination of the eggs surface may occur during post-processing stages of preparation and packaging, mainly due to improper handling or from work surfaces (1).

As germs develop more slowly below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius), storing them in the refrigerator helps keep them safe. Refrigerate the cooked eggs within two hours after cooking so that they don’t sit out at room temperature.

A study showed that hard cooked eggs (cooked in boiling water for 15 minutes) had a microbial population of 2.4 log CFU/g at day 0 storage. After a storage period of 10 days in the refrigerator, the microbial level reached a maximum level of approximately 8.0 log CFU/g, which was significantly higher (1).

It’s also a good idea to keep them in an airtight container or a carton. Avoid putting them in the fridge door, which is often opened and closed, since this might cause temperatures to vary. When keeping hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator, you may detect a gassy smell at first. Boiling eggs releases hydrogen sulfide, which is to blame.

But don’t worry; this is very normal and will go away in a few hours or so. As a last note, hard-boiled eggs should not be frozen since the egg whites and yolks become harsh and watery, making them less appealing to eat.

Hard-boiled eggs should be stored in a cool, dry place.

Refrigerating hard-boiled eggs if they are not used within a few hours is the only safe way to store them at room temperature. Keep the eggs in a cool area if you’re going on a picnic or packing a lunch. Even if they’re unpeeled, it’s a good idea to identify each bag of boiled eggs with the day they were cooked to keep track of when they’ll go bad. When hard-boiled eggs are left out for too long, they should be thrown away.

Regardless of how they’re stored, after they’re cooked, they’ll last for around a week. Hard-boiled eggs should be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator, such as Glad Entrée Food Containers. Before putting the eggs in the container, if the eggs have already been peeled, make sure they are wet by laying a damp paper towel over the bottom and the top.

Foodborne pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes can be readily destroyed during the boiling of eggs due to their low thermal resistance. However, hard-boiled eggs may be subjected to post processing contamination by food handlers or work surfaces during preparation and packaging. The moist surface and neutral pH provide near ideal conditions for microbial growth. According to study, when heat-treated eggs (at 121 ◦C for 15 min) were contaminated with L. monocytogenes during post processing, growth of this pathogen occurred in eggs stored at 5 and 20 °C (2). Therefore, adequate handling is determinant for the safety of cooked eggs.

The cooked yolks of hard-boiled eggs may also be stored in the freezer. Inedible egg whites result from freezing the whole egg whole. You may use the yolks to garnish a wide variety of foods by storing them in the refrigerator.

How to store peeled hard-boiled eggs?

Waiting to peel hard-boiled eggs until you’re ready to eat or use them in a dish is the greatest way to ensure the highest quality. The eggs should be stored in an airtight container with a wet paper towel to protect them from drying out once they’ve been peeled. Refrigerating peeled hard-boiled eggs as soon as feasible is just as important as reserving unpeeled ones.

Before they go bad, how long may hard-boiled eggs be stored in the refrigerator?

Preserving hard-boiled eggs correctly in the refrigerator may extend their shelf life by up to a week, as stated by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). A slimy or chalky look on the shell is a sign that your hard-boiled eggs have been sitting about for too long. Throw away the egg if it’s there.

The risk of foodborne disease, including diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, might be increased if you consume eggs that are beyond their prime. The smell of a damaged hard-boiled egg may be quite distinct. Depending on whether or not the egg has been cracked, you may need to smell it.

Foodborne illness outbreaks of Salmonella associated with consumption of eggs and egg products have been reported worldwide. In Europe, eggs and egg products were reported as the most significant food vehicles associated with 45.2% of 347 outbreaks caused by Salmonella in 2012. Salmonella Enteritidis is a predominant foodborne pathogen associated with egg and egg product consumption (1).

A greenish-gray yolk in a hard-boiled egg might be a cause for concern for many individuals. In other words, this doesn’t signify that your egg has gone rotten. Cooking time and temperature affect the yolk’s coloration. When eggs are cooked for a lengthy period, the yolk becomes a faint greenish-gray tint.

It may be caused by a post-processing terminal treatment that is commonly used to ensure the maximum safety of ready-to-use hard cooked eggs. A greenish-gray ring around the egg yolk is, however, developed during thermal post-processing using steam heating (> 95 °C for 40 min) as an hard cooked egg commercial production process (1). 

When you overcook an egg, the iron in the yolk reacts with the hydrogen sulfide in the white, resulting in this hue. This greenish-gray color is evidence of formation of iron sulfide at the interface between the yolk and the egg white due to a reaction of iron (from the yolk) and hydrogen sulfide (from the egg white) with overcooking. This color adversely affects consumer acceptance of this valued egg product (1). It’s safe to consume, even though the texture and mouthfeel may be affected.

Do hard-boiled eggs keep for a long time in the refrigerator?

The American Egg Board recommends refrigerating hard-boiled eggs to extend their shelf life. While hard-boiled eggs in their shells may be kept in a refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit for up to a week, peeled eggs should be consumed within 24 hours. The USDA, which is in charge of ensuring the safety of food, concurs. Even if you remove the shell, hard-boiled eggs may be frozen.

Do hard-boiled eggs keep for a long time at room temperature?

The USDA recommends that no uncooked or unpreserved food be left in the “danger zone“—temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit for longer than two hours. It’s because that’s where the most hazardous bacteria thrive at that temperature. If the temperature rises beyond 90 degrees Fahrenheit (such as at a backyard BBQ or summer picnic), food that is quickly ruined must be thrown away after only one hour.

For food-safe Easter egg hunts, you may want to stick with the candy-filled plastic eggs and bring the painted eggs out afterward—or at least hide them immediately before the search and make them all simple to discover!

Other FAQs about Eggs that you may be interested in.

How long do boiled eggs stay fresh?

How long do I cook hard-boiled eggs?

How long do eggs stay good for?


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “How long do hard-boiled eggs stay good?” and discussed how to properly store the hard-boiled eggs.


  1. Shahbaz, Hafiz Muhammad, et al. Application of high pressure processing for prevention of greenish-gray yolks and improvement of safety and shelf-life of hard-cooked peeled eggs. Innov Food Sci Emerg Technol, 2018, 45, 10-17.
  2. Kim, K. W., M. Daeschel, and Y. Zhao. Edible coatings for enhancing microbial safety and extending shelf life of hard‐boiled eggs. J food sci, 2008, 73, M227-M235.