Mrs. C.’s Fact Sheets failed to answer my nearly-posted AskMe query. She does answer a host of other food-safety queries besides.

I was wondering, “How long can hard-bioled eggs be left at room temperature and remain edible?”

The Safer Easter Egg, however, tells me that the FDA says:

When eggs are cooled in water after being cooked, the eggs pull cool water through the pores of the shell. If the water contains bacteria, the bacteria are pulled into the shell, and grow quickly on this nutritious food source. The cooling water can be contaminated by bacteria on peoples hands, particularly staph bacteria. Suggestions to eliminate this problem are:

Add eight ounces of vinegar to every two quarts of boiling water in which the eggs are cooked.

  • The acid in the vinegar makes it more difficult for the bacteria to survive.
  • DO NOT cool the eggs in water. Remove the eggs immediately after cooking and cool on racks in the refrigerator.

The hard cooked eggs should not be at room temperature for more than two hour if they are to be eaten.

Verdict: Toss ’em. Shucks.