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Monday, October 24, 2016

Is it dangerous to store eggs outside the refrigerator?  The answer depends on where you buy your eggs, or more accurately where you live.

In the U.S., eggs are generally sold from a refrigerated section of the supermarket and stored that way at home. If we buy eggs at a farm stand or farmer’s market they may be at room temperature, but only until we get them home.  But in most other places around the world they’re sold and stored at room temperature.

Is one healthier or better than the other?  According to NPR’s The Salt, both are correct and safe, but it depends on whether or not the eggs are washed after coming out of the hen.

“We Americans, along with the Japanese, Australians and Scandinavians, tend to be squeamish about our chicken eggs, so we bathe them and then have to refrigerate them. But (in the U.S.) we’re oddballs. Most other countries don’t mind letting unwashed eggs sit next to bread or onions.”

When U.S. hens lay eggs they’re grabbed immediately and put through a wash of soap and hot water. Now that removes all manner of gunk and bacteria, but it also removes a super thin film that coats each egg and protects it from that gunk, while allowing water and oxygen to get inside.

Proper washing gets rid of bacteria such as salmonella enteritidis and so is required in the U.S., but in many other countries laying hens are vaccinated against it and the eggs don’t need to be washed to protect the consumer.

Both ways achieve the same results.

Oh and by the way, brown and white eggs are exactly the same.


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