Do Hard-Boiled Eggs Go Bad And Become Unsafe To Eat?

Yes, hard-boiled eggs go bad. However, you can lengthen their shelf life if you store them under certain conditions.

Eggs are essential protein sources in every home and they are cooked in various ways, hard-boiled eggs being one of the favorites.

These eggs are used in salad dressing, as a garnish, and as a topping for several other dishes.

It is established that these eggs will go bad. Let’s consider the signs of spoilage and how to preserve them better.

Do hard-boiled eggs go bad faster than raw eggs?

Cooked food goes bad faster than raw food. Similarly, hard-boiled eggs will go bad faster than raw eggs. While eggs boil, they lose their protective covering to steam.

You should consume cooked eggs within a week of boiling them. During this period the eggs must be refrigerated to prevent contamination and spoilage.

Do peeled hard-boiled eggs go bad faster than unpeeled?

Yes, they do. Peeled hard-boiled eggs will go bad faster than when it is unpeeled because they have lost the shell that protects and maintains their integrity.

Do hard-boiled eggs go bad in the fridge?

Yes, hard-boiled eggs can go bad in the fridge too. Cooked eggs should not be refrigerated for more than seven days.

Keeping eggs in the refrigerator beyond this period will expose them to odors from other foods and eventual spoilage.

How long do hard-boiled eggs stay fresh?

When stored properly in a refrigerator, unpeeled hard-boiled eggs can stay fresh for up to a week, while peeled hard-boiled eggs can only stay fresh for up to 5 days. 

How long the eggs last is determined by factors like; how they are handled, the temperature at which they are stored, how they were boiled, and the storage condition. 

A hard-boiled egg should not be placed close to heat or high temperature. That is why the fridge is the perfect place to store hard-boiled eggs.

How to tell if a hard-boiled egg has gone bad

1. Track the boiling date

Mark the date you boil the eggs. How long the eggs have been stored can help you determine if you can still eat them.

A hard-boiled egg that has been in the refrigerator for two weeks is no longer good. Yes, regardless of the temperature in the fridge. It naturally cannot last that long.

2. Watch out for slime

A spoilt hard-boiled egg often has a slimy appearance. If they are unpeeled, the shell becomes chalky and damps off some powder. For peeled eggs, the slime will likely cover the eggs and make them slippery.

3. Foul smell

Another indicator that your eggs have gone bad is the smell they give off. Rotten eggs give off a foul smell.

Usually, this smells repulsive and you may not need any other indicator to tell you that the egg has gone bad. You should trash the eggs once they begin to smell off and rotten.

4. Color change

Also, the color change is another indicator to watch out for. A discoloration of the egg white may be an indicator that your hard-boiled egg is no longer fresh.

Note that if the yolk has a grey ring around it, it’s not bad. It is an indication that the egg was overcooked. Other than this, any other strange color is not a good sign.

How to store hard-boiled eggs 

Here are a few storage tips:

  • Ensure you cook the eggs properly by boiling them at the right temperature to kill the bacteria present.
  • Refrigerate your eggs within two hours of boiling them.
  • If you won’t be eating them immediately, do not peel them.
  • Store eggs in a tightly-closed container to keep out moisture.
  • Label the containers to keep track of the duration of storage.
  • Place the eggs in the refrigerator far away from odorous foods such as onions, garlic, and ginger.
  • Do not take the eggs out of the refrigerator for more than two hours unless you are ready to eat them.


Do eggs need to be refrigerated?

Yes, they do. To prolong the shelf life of raw or cooked eggs, you should refrigerate them.

However, how long they will last in the refrigerator depends on whether they have been cooked or peeled. Raw eggs will last about a month, boiled eggs will last a week, and peeled boiled eggs will last 5 days.

How long should eggs be boiled for hard-boiled eggs?

For a hard-boiled egg, you should boil the egg for about 10-12 minutes.

Can hard-boiled eggs stay out overnight?

No, they can’t. Consume hard-boiled eggs within two hours of cooking or refrigerate them. Leaving cooked eggs out overnight will expose them to bacterial contamination. And they’ll go bad eventually.

Are hard-boiled eggs healthy for your diet?

Yes, they are. Eggs are a good source of protein and vitamins. However, overconsumption of hard-boiled eggs is not safe.

The long cooking period creates a compound (ferrous sulfide) in the eggs. Ferrous sulfide is responsible for the grey color of a hard-boiled egg. This compound becomes toxic to the body when it is consumed in excess.


Hard-boiled eggs are delicious, but you cannot have them around forever. Yes, even if you refrigerate them. They are only good for 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator under proper storage.

When you take out the eggs and notice any sign of spoilage, discard them immediately. Look out for the signs listed above and keep yourself healthy.

Finally, you can avoid ending up with hard-boiled eggs if you know how long you should cook eggs.

Thanks for reading.