Dying eggs is an Easter tradition, but cooked eggs don’t last forever. Learn how long you can keep your hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator, plus ways to use left-over Easter eggs.

Nothing screams Easter like eggs.  This week, many of us will be boiling, coloring and decorating real eggs for the holiday, and filling the fake ones with treat and toys for Easter egg hunting.  While plastic eggs can be recycled for next year’s festivities, the real ones require a little more care. To help prevent food-borne illness, you’ll need to follow the proper food safety protocol from the time you purchase  eggs, all the way through to when you eat them. Here’s some tips to keep the happy in your holiday and help prevent your family from getting food-borne illness from bad eggs.

How Long Do Eggs Last Before Going Bad?

To start, let’s talk about eggs. Raw whole eggs, in the shell, can last ~4-5 weeks beyond the package date. That equates to ~3 weeks from the time of purchase. When purchasing eggs from the supermarket, check the date on the carton and choose the freshest eggs possible. You’ll also want to open the carton and make sure that all of the eggs are intact.

Once cracked, the keep time decreases significantly.  Cracked whole eggs, that are slightly beaten, only last up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Raw egg whites, however, will last ~4 days once cracked, if stored properly in the refrigerator.

Hard-boiled eggs should last ~1 week from the time you cook them. For best quality, do not remove the shell until you are ready to eat your egg.  Peeled eggs are best when eaten that same day.

How To Properly Store Eggs

Eggs should be stored in the refrigerator in their original carton. According to The Incredible Egg website, the temperature of your refrigerator stays more constant on an inside shelf than on the door, which gets opened frequently. They also recommend storing them in the carton. Doing so helps to minimize odors from other foods and helps to lock in some moisture.

Once you hard-boil your eggs, they should be returned to the refrigerator for storage. That is, unless you plan on eating them within 2-hours.  Eggs, whether raw or cooked, should not be left at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.

Hard-Boiled Easter Egg Food Safety

Keep the shell on your hard-boiled eggs to dye them, and continue to leave it on until right before you eat them. This will help to maintain their freshness. Since many people dye eggs in advance of the holiday, it’s important to keep track of the cook date.  Remember that hard-boiled eggs will last ~1 week from the time you cooked them. That means, if you plan to dye eggs 3 days before Easter, they will only last ~3 days after the holiday.

SAFETY NOTE: If you plan on having an Easter egg hunt, it is best to use artificial eggs filled with kid approved toys and treats.

What To Do With Left-Over Hard-Boiled Eggs

We love eggs in my house, but we also love to dye Easter eggs. That means we end up with a lot of eggs to eat. If your family is like mine, it’s important to have a plan on how you will use those eggs. Here are a few ideas on how to eat hard-boiled eggs.

  • Make deviled eggs
  • Add to a salad
  • Make an egg-salad sandwich
  • Make potato or macaroni salad
  • Slice or smash onto toast

Do you have another idea for how to use left-over hard-boiled eggs? Share in the comments below.

Wishing you all a Happy Easter!

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