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Safely Storing Hard-Cooked Eggs

 What is shelf life of a hard-boiled egg?

 Uncooked eggs can be satisfactorily stored in the shell for four to five weeks after they are packaged (so generally at least three weeks after you get them home from the store.) Hard-boiled eggs, however, should be consumed within a week. Why the difference?

Egg shells are porous. The hen makes up for this by adding a natural coating, but the government insists that eggs be washed and sanitized before being sold, which washes away the coating. The egg processor sprays on a thin coating of an odorless natural mineral oil to reseal the egg. But your cooking washes this coating away, as well, leaving a drafty shell once more, which is susceptible to the invasion of odors, off-flavors, and bacteria.

Hence the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the American Egg Board, and other egg know-it-alls give you a week to use up your hard-boiled eggs (providing you got them into the refrigerator within two hours of cooking).

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