Some people keep their eggs in the fridge, and some keep them out at room temperature.
So, what’s the right way to correctly store eggs – do chicken eggs need to be refrigerated?
The answer is simple; if a chicken egg has its bloom intact, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
If you want to know more about egg ‘blooms’ and how to safely store your eggs, read on!
Do Chicken Eggs Need to Be Refrigerated?
The interesting thing about whether or not eggs are – or need to be refrigerated – is that most people notice eggs are refrigerated in the U.S. and typically not refrigerated in Europe.
There is one simple reason why this is; in most European countries, eggs are not washed as part of their processing before being sold.
In the U.S. it’s the law to wash eggs and clean them with a sanitizer to remove any bacteria before selling eggs commercially.
However, when an egg is laid by a hen it comes with a natural protective coating called a ‘bloom’.
This bloom is what protects the egg from bacteria penetrating the egg, so if it’s left intact you can leave eggs out at room temperature.
How Long Are Fresh Eggs Good for Unrefrigerated?
It’s generally recommended that if you have eggs with the bloom still intact, they can be stored unrefrigerated for up to two weeks.
If your eggs are refrigerated and then taken out to room temperature, it’s best to use them within a week.
If you’re buying eggs from your local store, they will come with a use-by date. As long as you store the eggs as directed, it’s safe to go by the use-by date.
How Long Do Fresh Eggs Last in the Fridge?
If you store your eggs in the fridge, they should last for about four to five weeks – as long as you don’t wash them.
How to Check if an Egg Is Fresh or ‘Good’
If you’re not sure whether or not an egg is safe and good to eat, you can test it by doing a float test.
To do a float test, Put the egg in a bowl of water and see if it sinks or floats. If it sinks it’s still fresh, but if it floats, it’s time to toss it.
This happens to an egg because eggshells are porous, even though the little holes are so small you can’t see them with your eye.
As an egg gets older, more air seeps through the shell. The more air that gets in, the more likely it is that the egg will float.
If air is getting in through the shell, it also means that bacteria is getting in through the shell.
With eggs prone to bacteria like salmonella, it’s not something you want to take a chance on. If an egg floats, or if you think it’s past its best, don’t eat it.
Does Washing Eggs Prevent Salmonella?
Salmonella is the word that puts fear into most people when it comes to egg safety.
Salmonella is a bacteria that is behind most forms of food poisoning, and it causes some pretty nasty symptoms.
The FDA has put regulations in place to help prevent contamination of eggs on the farm and during shipping and storage.
This is why eggs are washed so thoroughly and it’s recommended to keep them at a temperature of 40° F or below.
Things are done differently in some other countries, but both methods of processing and storing eggs – both refrigerated and not – are fine.
The main thing you need to know is whether or not your eggs have been washed so you know how to properly store them.
If you’re in doubt, the best option is to put your eggs in the fridge.
Why Do Farm Fresh Eggs Not Have to Be Refrigerated?
Fresh farm eggs, as long as you don’t wash them, will have their bloom intact and are able to be stored at room temperature without allowing bacteria to enter the shell.
Should You Wash Farm Fresh Eggs?
It’s up to you if you wash farm fresh eggs that you – or someone else – have collected from a nesting box. If you do, you should refrigerate the eggs to keep them good longer.
What Are Meat Spots in Eggs?
Meat spots are little specks of blood, typically in the yolk of an egg. It’s just a bit of tissue picked up during the process of the egg being made by the hen and it’s perfectly safe.
The simple rule when it comes to whether or not you should refrigerate eggs is:
Eggs that still have their natural protective coating, called a ‘bloom’, do not need to be refrigerated and can last up to two weeks unrefrigerated.
Eggs that are washed and do not have a bloom need to be refrigerated and can last several weeks.
Image credits – Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash