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Most sites that I've googled (such as, and say that refrigerated hard-boiled eggs need to be eaten within one week.

I'm a little skeptical, and I know that many are very conservative where eggs are involved.

Can anyone point to an authoritative source that explains why, say 10-day old, refrigerated hard-boiled eggs would be unsafe?

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3 Answers 3

Yes, they really are unsafe after a week.

According to the USDA (similar information can be found from other food agencies):

Why do hard-cooked eggs spoil faster than fresh eggs?

When shell eggs are hard cooked, the protective coating is washed away, leaving bare the pores in the shell for bacteria to enter and contaminate it. Hard-cooked eggs should be refrigerated within 2 hours of cooking and used within a week.

Simply put, you're damaging the shell, and that expedites spoilage. Some secondary sources such as StillTasy (who use the agencies as their primary sources) are more liberal and say up to 2 weeks, but I'd at least give it a very thorough sniff test before eating hard-boiled eggs that old. (And note that the sniff test will not necessarily alert you to bacterial contamination, only the more conventional forms of food spoilage like rancidity).

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I'm 75 and I eat hardboiled eggs and have for many years.keep them in fridge for salmon &tuna salad. Never made me sick and I sometimes keep longer than 2 weeks.

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Of course, "unsafe" does not necessarily mean "it will kill you". Riding a bike on major roads without a helmet is unsafe, but many people do it their entire lives without incident. 1 week is simply the difference between "practically no risk" and "some risk". –  Aaronut Apr 23 '11 at 19:41

I ate a hard boiled egg that had been in my fridge a week. I had stomach cramping and was running to the bathroom (repeatedly) a couple hours after eating. Won't be doing that again.

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Fun story, but certainly not an answer to my question. :) –  Eric Wilson Dec 6 '13 at 0:21
This is pretty unlikely to have been the eggs; most foodborne illness takes much longer than that to start showing symptoms. It is possible, though, and if it was the eggs it's certainly a good indication it's unsafe! –  Jefromi Feb 5 at 0:08

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