How long do egg sandwiches last unfrigerated? (Answered!)

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Are you planning a picnic? Egg sandwiches provide a delicious main dish for all guests to enjoy. 

Both fried egg and egg mayo sandwiches deliver tasty, nutritious, and budget-friendly picnic entree options. But aren’t eggs notoriously challenging to serve safely?

Egg sandwiches last a maximum of two hours unrefrigerated.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends storing all perishable foods, including picnic salads, condiments, and meats, after being unrefrigerated for two hours or less (Source: CDC). The risk of food poisoning, particularly with eggs, increases dramatically after two hours.

How Long Do Egg Sandwiches Last Unrefrigerated?

You should discard any egg sandwiches after two hours outside or in an unrefrigerated environment. 

This may seem like a super short time frame, but it is a helpful guideline for your safety. I have gotten food poisoning, and it took me days to recover!

Summer weather presents even more hazards for large spreads of unrefrigerated food. When the temperature reaches above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, refrigerate foods after only one hour. 

More than 48 million people experience a food-borne illness each year in the United States. Following this tight timeframe will help you avoid this very common sickness. (Source: CDC)

Can I Eat an Egg Sandwich the Next Day?

Eating an egg sandwich the following day presents no issue if the sandwich is refrigerated. An egg sandwich can last about five to seven days in the refrigerator.

However, I recommend eating refrigerated egg sandwiches as quickly as possible. 

Eggs can taste stale or rubbery after cooking and offer a strange texture when reheated. For best results, it’s best to reheat eggs only once.

After a picnic or gathering, refrigerating egg sandwiches or leftovers delivers a suitable short-term storage solution. 

Freezing make-ahead breakfast sandwiches offer a terrific option for long-term, safe egg storage.

Egg sandwiches destined for your freezer demand specific procedures. I achieve the most success by keeping these sandwiches very simple. 

Keeping eggs as a whole as possible will make these sandwiches delicious and safe to eat. 

Try pouring a whipped egg mixture into a baking dish and cutting out cooked eggs with a cookie cutter. 

Cracking whole eggs into muffin tins and baking gives them a uniform oval shape. 

While refrigerated eggs last only about a week, frozen egg sandwiches keep in the freezer for up to one month. 

As previously noted, it is never safe to eat an egg sandwich left without refrigeration for more than two hours.

Do Eggs Go Bad if Not Refrigerated for 12 Hours?

Do Eggs Go Bad if Not Refrigerated

I remember the first time I saw a package of eggs left on the kitchen counter when visiting England. 

This practice initially appeared reckless and completely unsafe. However, livestock production endures different standards around the world. 

Leaving eggs unrefrigerated in countries like England remains a safe solution. 

Poultry growers across the pond adopted a hen vaccination mandate in the 1990s after a widespread salmonella outbreak. 

All farmers must fully vaccinate their hens to make them eligible for sale in Great Britain. 

An interview in the New York Times states that the United Kingdom eliminated salmonella as a threat to humans due to these widespread vaccinations. 

The United States generally avoids vaccine mandates, including in the case of poultry production. 

This is why eggs in the U.S. must be refrigerated to prevent salmonella poisoning. 

Similar to the egg sandwich guidance, any eggs left unrefrigerated for more than two hours should be discarded. This includes whole eggs.

How Long Can an Egg Mayo Sandwich Last at Room Temperature?

An egg mayo sandwich, also known as an egg salad sandwich, receives the same guidelines as other egg sandwiches. 

All perishable foods must be refrigerated after two hours. This time frame shrinks to only one hour if the temperature rises above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

This sandwich in particular requires keeping close track of food safety rules. 

Not only does this sandwich contain eggs, one of the most likely culprits of food poisoning, but also mayo. Mayo typically contains eggs and milk, two other ingredients susceptible to spoiling easily.

How Long Does a Fried Egg Sandwich Last?

A fried egg sandwich poses slightly less of a risk of salmonella than an egg mayo sandwich. However, proper food storage guidelines must still be followed. 

Fried eggs require the albumen, or white part, to thicken and solidify. 

A fried egg sandwich properly refrigerated and stored should stay fresh for about five to seven days. Adding dairy products like cheese reduces its shelf life by two or three days.

Why Is It Dangerous To Leave an Egg Salad Sandwich at Room Temperature?

Bacteria grow very quickly in temperatures between 40 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, a range commonly referred to as the “Danger Zone”.

This rule explains why meats like chicken are not considered fully cooked until they reach a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Food left in the Danger Zone range of temperature grows bacteria like salmonella. Side effects of salmonella poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Most affected people recover within a week after taking antibiotics. (Source: University of Minnesota)

Avoid salmonella by never cross-contaminating work surfaces. Never eat foods with raw eggs inside, including raw cookie dough. 

Wash your hands every time you touch eggs, including eggshells! 

Salmonella can linger on the outside of the egg, so be sure to wash your hands after touching any part of a raw egg.

How Can You Tell if Egg Mayo Is Off? 

If you suspect your egg mayo sandwich has begun to turn, use your five senses to help. First, look for any mold or unsightly separation. 

Brave cooks can give their egg mayo a sniff to determine if it is safe to eat. 

If you’re still not sure, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Egg mayo, or egg salad, lasts about five days.


Eggs provide one of the highest risks for food-borne illnesses like salmonella. But following a few simple and strict guidelines reduces the risk of food poisoning considerably. 

Remember, never eat food left unrefrigerated for more than two hours, or one hour if it’s very hot out!

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