This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re boiling eggs for breakfast, making deviled eggs, or even egg salad, eggs will stink up your house when cooking.
But, don’t let that deter you. It’ll be worth it when can come home after a long day at work and whip up an egg salad sandwich for dinner in minutes.
Egg salad is the perfect cost-effective lunch or weeknight dinner option because it can be made ahead of time and actually tastes better after it has been sitting in the fridge for a while.
You can make egg salad sandwiches or serve egg salad as a dip with crackers or raw veggies like carrots, cucumbers, or celery.
With just a few ingredients, you can make your own egg salad at home in minutes! Plus it’s easy to customize with different spices or add-ins like bacon or relish!
But egg salad can spoil rapidly if not stored properly. In this post, I want to tell you exactly how you can store your egg salad in the fridge and for how long. And we’ll also talk about how to tell if your egg salad has gone bad.
What Is Egg Salad?
Egg salad is an old-fashioned dish that’s composed of hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, yellow mustard, salt, pepper, and sometimes lemon juice or a little vinegar for acid. Many people in the south also add pickle relish, either sweet or dill, to their egg salad.
The eggs are often chopped into small pieces, and the mixture is usually eaten on cold bread or crackers. Or, it can be used as a dip for raw veggies such as carrots, celery, or cucumbers. In restaurants, egg salad is commonly served in a sandwich along with lettuce, mayo, and tomato or on a bed of lettuce with crackers.
How Long Does Egg Salad Last In The Refrigerator?
The current USDA Cold Food Storage Chart is clear. Egg salad needs to be refrigerated. As long as it is properly stored at or below 40°F, egg salad will stay good in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. This applies to homemade egg salad as well as store-bought egg salad.
Can You Eat Egg Salad After Four Days?
My husband will eat egg salad that’s been in the fridge for 5 or 6 days as long as it smells and looks okay. However, I don’t advise it. Getting a food-borne illness is no fun and it’s definitely not cost-effective.
Always err on the side of caution and eat your egg salad within a few days of it being made.
What Happens If You Eat Old Egg Salad?
Eating egg salad that has gone bad can make you sick with nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps to name a few. It’s no fun.
Remember, a trip to the emergency room will cost you a lot more time and money compared to the costs of making a new batch of egg salad.
Don’t risk it. Always eat your egg salad within 3 to 4 days and never eat it if you believe it has gone bad.
How Do You Know When Egg Salad Goes Bad?
You should always use your eyes and nose before eating leftovers. Do not eat your egg salad if:
- It has an “off” smell or odor to it
- It doesn’t look right
- It has developed mold or black spots on it
If your leftover egg salad hasn’t developed mold or black spots, smells ok, and looks ok, then taste a small bite to ensure it tastes ok. If the taste is “off” at all, do not eat it. Discard immediately. Don’t risk food poisoning!
How Do You Keep Egg Salad Fresh?
The best way to preserve egg salad is to store it in an airtight container in the coldest part of your fridge.
Storing your egg salad in an airtight container will help keep fridge odors away from the egg salad.
What Is The Coldest Part Of Your Fridge?
The coldest part of your refrigerator is different for every fridge. It could be in a drawer, on the bottom shelf, at the top near the ice maker, or at the back of the fridge. But, it’s definitely NOT in the doors of the refrigerator.
The temperature around the doors of a fridge fluctuates the most due to the door being opened and closed throughout the day. And because egg salad is sensitive to spoilage, it’s best to avoid storing it in the doors of your fridge.
Instead, opt to store your salad in the coldest part of the fridge. You can always use a fridge thermometer
How Long Can Egg Salad Be Left Out Of The Fridge?
Food-borne bacteria grow most rapidly between 40°F and 140°F, so it’s important to keep your egg salad in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it.
According to the USDA, egg salad should NOT be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours or 1 hour if the temperature is above 90°F.
Why You Should Store Egg Salad At Or Below 40°F
There are two types of bacteria that attract attention in the food world: pathogenic and spoilage. Pathogenic bacteria can make you sick when it is ingested, while spoilage bacteria causes food to rot.
You can’t see spoilage bacteria without a microscope but you can see its effects when your produce begins to rot.
Unfortunately, pathogenic bacteria, the kind that makes us ill, can be present on or in your food without you even knowing it. Many times, these types of bacteria can be present and not affect the taste, smell, or texture of your food.
Please remember, bacteria grow fastest between the temperatures of 40°F-140°F. The USDA refers to this range as the “Danger Zone”.
Keeping your fridge at or below 40°F will slow down the growth of these dangerous bacteria. You want to be sure your egg salad stays in its safe zone.
Inspecting the fridge’s temperature with a thermometer can let you know your egg salad is stored at the proper temperature.
Yes, that’s a hint. If you don’t have a fridge thermometer, please consider investing in one. When it comes to your family and food safety, don’t play around!
You May Also Like:
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Freeze Leftover Egg Salad?
Technically, yes you can freeze egg salad. But, don’t. Read this article about freezing egg salad for more detailed information.
Final Recommendations From Cost-Effective Kitchen
Made with inexpensive pantry staples, egg salad is a great lunch or dinner option for your family that won’t break the bank. It’s versatile and can be served as a sandwich or as a dip for crackers and raw veggies. Additionally, you can make it in advance to last for 3-4 days! It’s perfect for those busy weeknights when you need to get your family fed in a hurry!
Just don’t risk food poisoning by not storing your egg salad properly. Be sure to store your egg salad in an airtight container in the coldest part of the fridge as soon as it is made. Try to only remove it from the fridge when you’re ready to eat it. And if it must be left out, never let it sit out for more than 2 hours (1 hour if the temperature at above 90°F).
Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest for more great tips and recipes!
Until next time…