Eggs Left Out Overnight – Are They Okay to Eat?

Eggs are a staple in many households, and it’s not uncommon for them to be left out overnight. Whether it’s by accident or on purpose, the question remains – are eggs that have been left out overnight safe to eat? In this article, we will explore the dangers of consuming eggs that have been left out overnight and discuss the best ways to ensure their safety before consuming.

Americain Eggs vs Other Eggs

In the United States, eggs are washed before packaging to remove dirt and debris, and to kill any bacteria that may be present on the eggshells. This process also removes the cuticle, a natural protective coating on the eggshell that helps to keep the egg fresh. As a result, American eggs need to be refrigerated to prevent the growth of bacteria.

In contrast, eggs from European countries are not washed before packaging, so they retain the cuticle and can be stored at room temperature until their use-by date. I recommend you give them a rinse just before use as they can have feathers or bits of chicken poo stuck to them some of which might not be easily visible.

Eggs Acidently Left Out of the Refigerator

If you leave eggs that are meant to be kept in the refrigerator out by accident they will spoil after about 12 hours.

Avoiding Salmonella

Salmonella is a dangerous bacteria associated with chicken and eggs. If you are consuming eggs that have been left out of the fridge foreven a couple of hours the risk of contracting salmonella is increased. To mitigate this risk it is important to cook the egg thoroughly all the way through. Making “runny eggs” from eggs that had been left out overnight would be a health risk.

Salmonella comes from chicken feeces so it is most often found on the shell of the egg rather than on the inside. When cracking egg, especially those that have been left out of the refrigerator, you should crack it on a flat surface. When you crack eggs on a sharp edge like the side of a frying pan you are more likely to push some shell into the egg thus increasing the risk of salmonella contamination.

How Long do Hardboiled Eggs Last Unrefridgerated?

Cooked eggs have a shorter shelf life than raw ones. Because raw eggs are going to be cooked and that will kill the built up bacteria you can get away with having them out for a little while. Cooked eggs, hardboiled ones for example can only be stored outside the refridgerator for up to 2 hours.

The Floating Test

he “floating test” is a method that can be used to determine the freshness of eggs. The test is based on the fact that as an egg ages, the size of the air cell inside the egg increases. The air cell is a small pocket of air located at the large end of the egg.

To perform the floating test, fill a bowl with cold water and gently place the egg in the water. A fresh egg will sink to the bottom and lay flat on its side. As the egg ages, the air cell inside the egg will become larger, causing the egg to become more buoyant and start to stand upright. If an egg stands upright at the bottom of the bowl, it is still considered safe to eat but it is best consumed soon. However, if an egg floats on the top of the water, it is no longer fresh and should not be consumed.


Raw eggs that are left out overnight should be okay to eat. You need to test the eggs using the floating test described above and then make sure to cook them thourougly to kill any bacteria that could have grown overnight. Cooked eggs left out overnight will be spoilt and are not safe to consume.