We had some egg salad in the refrigerator that had "use by January 9, 2010" stamped on it, I was hesitant to have it for dinner tonight, though, because I opened the container on December 7, 2009. We hadn't eaten much of the egg salad that night, so there was quite a bit left. I searched online for information on how long egg salad might last in a refrigerator. Some people posting answers to others asking the same question stated it was only good for a couple of days, while others said 3 to 5 days. The maximum time I saw anyone mention was a week. I was hoping to find a more authoritate source than just guesses by people posting in forums, though. I did find a statement on a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) site regarding Tips for Easter and Passover Food Safety stating the following:
For egg safety - to stay healthy and avoid foodborne illness — USDA advises:
- Always buy eggs from a refrigerated case. Choose eggs with clean, uncracked shells.
- Buy eggs before the "Sell-By" or "EXP" (expiration) date on the carton.
- Take eggs straight home from the grocery store and refrigerate them right away. Check to be sure your refrigerator is set at 40°F or below. Don't take eggs out of the carton to put them in the refrigerator -- the carton protects them. Keep the eggs in the coldest part of the refrigerator — not on the door.
- Raw shell eggs in the carton can stay in your refrigerator for three to five weeks from the purchase date. Although the "Sell-By" date might pass during that time, the eggs are still safe to use. (The date is not required by federal law, but some states may require it.)
- Always wash your hands with warm water and soap before and after handling raw eggs. To avoid cross-contamination, you should also wash forks, knives, spoons and all counters and other surfaces that touch the eggs with hot water and soap.
- Don't keep raw or cooked eggs out of the refrigerator more than two hours.
- Egg dishes such as deviled eggs or egg salad should be used within 3 to 4 days.
Since the recommendation from the FSIS site was not to use egg sald after 3 to 4 days, I threw away the egg salad.