How long can you leave butter and eggs out?

Annie Copps, who’s both a cook and and public health veteran, writes about how long you can leave butter and eggs out of the fridge. I’m a fridge paranoid — I think that mayonnaise left out of the fridge for more than 2 minutes will kill me — so this is comforting information.


Nathan's picture
Nathan on March 26, 2009 - 21:05 Permalink

I’ve always kept a stick of butter out on the table. It’s much easier to spread when soft. Just keep out of sunlight and make sure it is salted butter.

Rob's picture
Rob on March 26, 2009 - 21:53 Permalink

I heard that in Australia, they don’t even refrigerate eggs at the grocery store, they’re just on shelves!

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on March 26, 2009 - 22:13 Permalink

I’ve seen non-refrigerated eggs in many places in Europe.

Nathan's picture
Nathan on March 26, 2009 - 22:18 Permalink

They are designed to be sat on by a warm chicken.

Chris Corrigan's picture
Chris Corrigan on March 26, 2009 - 23:13 Permalink

Last year, we received a lovely french butter dish made by a local potter. It is composed of two halfs. In one half you pack a small cylinder with butter and the other half you fill with water. When you aren’t using the butter, you tip it into the water and it stays soft no matter what the ambient temperature.

I refill it probably once a week, and keep sticks of butter in the freezer until then.

Clark's picture
Clark on March 26, 2009 - 23:28 Permalink

Eggs sold here aren’t refrigerated and in the case of the local corner store are open in a basket.

John McIntyre's picture
John McIntyre on March 27, 2009 - 04:06 Permalink

We use the same system as Chris. It’s great. And to date our house is salmonella/botulism free.

oliver's picture
oliver on March 27, 2009 - 15:10 Permalink

Wasn’t one theory about the collapse of Rome that they were not refrigerating their eggs?