How to Store Boiled Eggs for Easter or Snacks

hard-boiled egg half peeled on table

Adam Gault/OJO Images/Getty Images

Boiled eggs are a wonderful source of protein for kids, and are the perfect thing for a school lunch box or a quick and easy breakfast. Whether you're making a batch of hard-boiled eggs as a fast fix for a healthy breakfast, lunch box, snack, or a picnic basket, or to decorate for Easter or another special occasion, here are some important food safety tips to keep in mind.

First, it may surprise you to know that boiled eggs are more perishable than uncooked eggs. Uncooked eggs can be kept longer both in and out of the refrigerator than boiled eggs. That's because the protective coating that's put on eggs before they are shipped to consumers is destroyed in the cooking process. Manufacturers put this protective coating onto eggs because of the washing and sanitizing process the eggs undergo before packaging, which removes the natural protective coating eggs have when they come from a hen.

Tips for Keeping Hard-Boiled Eggs Fresh

To keep hard-boiled eggs fresh, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recommends following these food safety tips:

  • Do not keep boiled eggs unrefrigerated for more than two hours.
  • Boiled eggs only last one week in the refrigerator.
  • Raw eggs can stay fresh in the refrigerator in their original carton for an average of three weeks, depending on the expiration date.
  • If you detect an unpleasant odor from an egg, whether it's raw or cooked, throw it out.

According to the American Egg Board, the greenish tinge that appears between the cooked yolk and egg white is not a cause for concern, but rather, an indication that the egg was overcooked and that the sulfur and iron in the yolk reacted to the egg white.

If you have additional questions about safe handling of eggs and preventing foodborne illness, read the FDA's complete guide to egg safety to learn more about how to properly buy, store, prepare, serve, and transport eggs.

How to Pack Boiled Eggs in a Lunch Box

When packing boiled eggs for lunch, be sure to use a frozen ice pack in an insulated lunch box or lunch sack to keep the eggs cold. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends using at least two colds packs in a kids' lunch box for optimal safety. Put the eggs right next to the frozen packs to keep them as cold as possible. 

Easter Egg Safety

If you are using hard-boiled eggs for decorating Easter eggs and are planning to eat them, be sure to use food-safe coloring and refrigerate the eggs within two hours after boiling.

If you are using boiled eggs for Easter games, such as an egg hunt, be sure not to eat any eggs that have cracked shells.

Why Boiled Eggs Are a Healthy Snack Choice for Kids

Boiled eggs are a terrific source of protein and are a great choice for kids' healthy snacks and lunches at any time of the year. And they're a wonderful addition to breakfast on busy weekday mornings (just boil a batch the night before to eat during the school week).

School-age children, in particular, can benefit from a good balance of protein and healthy carbs, so boiled eggs can be a great addition to healthy and brain-boosting breakfasts on busy mornings. And if your child does after-school activities, whether it's soccer, dance, or music, packing some easy portable snacks such as boiled eggs, string cheese, and grapes can be a great way to tide them over until dinnertime.

By following these basic safety tips, you can incorporate boiled eggs into a healthy diet for yourself and your kids.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Salmonella and Eggs. Updated February 14, 2020.

  2. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. What You Need to Know About Egg Safety. Updated March 28, 2018.

  3. American Egg Board. Why Do Eggs Turn Green When Cooked? 2020.

  4. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Keeping "Bag" Lunches Safe. Updated August 16, 2016.

  5. Wallace TC. A Comprehensive Review of Eggs, Choline, and Lutein on Cognition Across the Life-span. J Am Coll Nutr. 2018;37(4):269-285. doi:10.1080/07315724.2017.1423248