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Dec 19, 2005 04:20 PM

Leaving eggs at room temp/how long is safe?

  • m

I know that it is often best to use room temperture eggs for baking. Well, I forgot about them last night and they were left out all day and night. Are they still safe? How long is safe? Thanks.

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  1. They're probably safe, but I don't think there's an absolute answer -- it would depend on a lot of factors, including how old the eggs are, how hot your room is, and how "good" the eggs were to begin with. I'd use them, other people probably wouldn't. It also depends on what you're going to use them for. I might not use them for egg nog, but as long as they're not rotten (in other words, they smell bad) I'd use them for baking.

    1. Well first, what do you mean by safe? Eggs don't get poisonous, they just get old. Smelly, off, etc.

      That said, when local government wanted to regulate selling of eggs at farmer's mkts (that is, unrefrigerated) they offered the guideline of one hour at room temp ages an egg as much as one day in the refrigerator. Night temp is lower than day temp, eggs can last a month in my fridge.

      So I'd use 'em if they pass the smell test (once cracked) and whites aren't cloudy. For good or bad regarding me, I've never found a need to throw out a batch of eggs.

      1. Perfect for making a batch of deviled eggs or scotch eggs.

        1. I remember Mother Earth magazine once did an experiment with refrigerated eggs, eggs buried underground and eggs left in the kitchen. I don't remember the exact results but the eggs left out in the kitchen lasted much, much longer than you would think, as long as it wasn't extremely hot in the kitchen. It was at least two weeks or more.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Chowpatty

            The lady at the Marin Sun Farms egg stand at my local farmers market told me not to refrigerate their eggs, and to use them up to a month. I was shocked at the one month length, but she assured me that their customers do it all the time (they who actually work on the farm are lucky enough to never have to eat eggs that old).

            I tried it, and a few weeks into the experiment the eggs were fine but I had no more. So I don't know if a full month is okay, but a day certainly is.

            Sure, the farmers' eggs get to me much more quickly than supermarket eggs do. But I've left out half a dozen eggs from Safeway for a few days at a time when I know I'll be baking things every day. Never had a problem.

            1. re: nooodles

              First of all the English laugh at us for refrigerating eggs at all.
              If you hard boil older eggs, they are easier to peel than really fresh eggs.

              A laying chicken usually lays an egg a day, when she has layed enough to set on (6 to 10 meaning 6 to 10 days) she starts setting and the chicks all hatch the same day. How do it work?

              1. re: Curmudgeon

                In the UK, although eggs are sold unrefrigerated, the government recommends that people refrigerate the eggs once they bring them home. Most Britons store their eggs in the refrigerator.

                It does seem a bit strange, but the government rationalizes the lack of need to refrigerate supermarket eggs by saying there are strict regulations to keep eggs at a constant temperature when commercially handling them. If you keep the eggs in the scorching heat all day, they are more likely to become contaminated.

          2. Of course they're safe.
            I can remember the days of stores not even refrigerating eggs at all.
            It's not all that long ago that people ate lots of foods not refrigerated ever - because they had no refrigeration. And there are many places on earth that still have no refrigeration today.
            Just cook your eggs and it's all good.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Niki Rothman

              In Britain a few years ago I regularly saw them for sale in grocery stores on the shelf (unrefrigerated).