December 2, 2023

How Long Can You Store Easter Eggs After the Holiday?

Making and decorating hard cooked eggs for the Easter holiday is traditional. But how long can you store Easter eggs after the holiday? The answer is one week. Which means that this next Sunday, all of your hard cooked Easter eggs should be eaten or discarded.

How Long Can You Store Easter Eggs After the Holiday?

If you stored the eggs after peeling, they should be kept in a bowl of cold water. And change the water every day. Unfortunately, you can’t freeze whole hard cooked eggs or they will be rubbery. You can remove and freeze the yolks if you want.

Of course, that time frame assumes that you cooked the eggs to well done, refrigerated them within two hours of cooking, and stored them in a refrigerator at a temperature less than 40°F. And used food-grade dye to color the eggs. And that you didn’t hide them directly on the ground outside.

Some sources say that you can store hard cooked eggs in the refrigerator for four days, which is the time frame I use.  I say it’s better to be safe than sorry. I was sickened with a Salmonella infection as a child after eating hard cooked eggs that were left out of refrigeration, and I wouldn’t wish that illness on anyone.

Eggs can be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria; indeed, there have been quite a few Salmonella outbreaks linked to shell eggs. Two years ago a Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak linked to Gravel Ridge Farms shell eggs sickened at least 44 people in 11 states.

One of the problems with eggs is that they can be contaminated on the inside, since hens can have Salmonella in their ovaries. That means that even eggs with clean, untracked shells can be contaminated. Of course, you should cook eggs to well done, or 160°F, until both the white and yolk are firm.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection usually begin about 6 to 72 hours after eating food contaminated with the pathogen. although some people can get sick a week later. Symptoms include a fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal and stomach cramps and pains, and diarrhea that can be bloody.

So how long can you store Easter eggs after the holiday? Seven days.

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