How Long Does Egg Salad Last? And How To Keep It Safe

Everyone loves a good egg salad sandwich, right?

So much that sometimes we make more than we could eat. 

I was in this situation a couple of times before, and since eggs don’t last that long, there’s the question how long does egg salad last?

There are a couple of things you should know to get the idea how you can use the rest of the salad and how to use it correctly, in order to evade food poisoning or any other discomfort.

I have a few tips and tricks that can help you, and I’m happily going to share them with you! 🙂

General food safety tips

Leftovers from any lunch should be stored and kept with care. Every food has its expiration date and the limited period of use.

Some can be used for a long time and even reused a lot of times, but on the other hand, some foods just cannot last much and shouldn’t be reused at all.

A good example is a mayonnaise.

Everyone knows that mayonnaise can’t last long and it can be very dangerous for your stomach. While a lot of people think that the mayonnaise itself makes us ill after it’s been left out for some time, the problem is not in the mayonnaise itself.

The health hazard is actually the bacteria that grow on foods rich in protein. And it grows best at temperatures from 10-140 degrees. If the food is mixed with potatoes, pasta, tuna or eggs, the risk is even greater.

Even though these kinds of foods have that certain risk, they can all be used safely if they are kept cold, preferably below 40 degrees.

Pro tip: To prevent bacterial growth in these types of foods, add some lemon juice or vinegar. They significantly slow down and even prevent the growth of bacteria.


Things you should know about the ingredients

First things first, to avoid any planning on how to use the rest of the salad and how long does egg salad last, you should plan a bit ahead. If it happens to you once that you have a lot of leftovers, then in the future use only one egg per person; that usually is enough.

Since it has eggs and mayonnaise, egg salad gets spoiled quite fast, especially when it’s left out in the open. These ingredients are highly sensitive to hot temperatures, and you should take extra care if you bring a couple of egg salad sandwiches on a picnic.

I don’t want to talk about substitutes for eggs or mayonnaise just to extend the lifespan of the salad. Instead, I would like you to consider reducing the number of eggs used to prevent leftovers in the first place and for you to know how to store it if you end up with leftovers anyway.

Also, make sure that your ingredients are as fresh as possible. Check the expiration dates on the packages, and that will be an easy way to make your egg salad last a bit longer.


How long can you keep it out of the fridge?

Depending on how careful you will be, but it can last for one day at best. 

The bacteria grows quite rapidly at room temperatures, and honestly, I wouldn’t recommend you to use it after its being left out of the fridge for more than 2 hours.

Luckily, you tell quite easy and fast if the salad is bad. You should smell the odor, and it can change the appearance or you even mold can appear. If you notice any of these signs, do not taste it, discard it immediately.

Don’t test your luck, and put it back in the fridge as soon as you finish making that sandwich.


How to extend its shelf life?

The logical thing to do is to keep it in the fridge. But you can extend its shelf life even more. As soon as you finish making the salad, get an airtight plastic container, and pour the salad into it. Then as soon as you can, leave it in the fridge.

By doing so, you will be able to use your egg salad, 3-5 days. 

Just keep it in that airtight container. If you add a bit of lemon juice or vinegar in the recipe, you will extend its lifespan to the maximum 5 days. I don’t recommend you to freeze it.

Freezing and unfreezing anything that contains raw eggs can help the bacteria grow. Because you have to expose the food to a heat source or a warmer environment in order to unfreeze it.

Going on a picnic?

  • Egg salad sandwiches are mostly found on the picnic tables. And coincidentally it’s the place where the bacteria can grow very rapidly. You should be extra careful with foods that contain eggs and mayonnaise when you pack them for a picnic.
  • Pack your egg salad in airtight containers, and here’s a little trick how to enjoy egg salad sandwiches though out the entire picnic – bring a portable freezer with you, but only if it has the low setting, so it keeps the food cold, but doesn’t freeze it.
  • If you’re bringing already made sandwiches, then pack them in an aluminum foil. I like to pack almost everything this way, so my boys can get their food in the right portions. Place the sandwiches in the picnic freezer, if you don’t like them cold, you can leave them out for a bit to warm up, and they will be safe for eating.
  • If you don’t have the freezer, however, try one of mine simple tricks – use a regular airtight container wrap the sandwiches in a cloth (but they have to be wrapped in aluminum foil first), and put a small frozen bottle of water. It’s a simple hack which you can use to make a homemade portable fridge.

In conclusion

There’s a lot of controversy and popular stigma around meals with eggs and mayonnaise, egg salad especially. It can go bad quite fast, and the main question is how long does egg salad last.

A good fresh egg salad can last 3-5 days based on everything we know about eggs and mayonnaise and how do they behave when left out in the warm. 

If you apply some of my tricks, you will be safe from food poisoning, and your salad will have an extended shelf life.

You can apply these rules to some other meals as well, and you will always enjoy a fresh meal without the need to throw anything away!

Barbara Whitney
 

For the last 20 years, I’ve been cooking, preparing, researching, and gathering recipes, tools, and knowledge about food and the way we prepare it. Raising two lively boys and spoiling one great husband later, it’s safe to say that I’ve optimized my kitchen to deliver the best possible meal, no matter the occasion.

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