Should eggs really be chilled?

Two years ago i went on a school trip to China, and while in china I stayed with a host family. I didn’t know how to speak the language very well but I knew some phrases. While out on an outing with my hose family we went to the grocery store in search of some items to make “An all american breakfast”. I was able to find everything I needed except for the eggs. I asked (meaning I typed into a translator), my host family why there wasn’t any eggs in the coolers, and they proceeded to laugh at me. Apparently in China they don’t store eggs in coolers, but rather they store them out on a counter.


That got me very puzzled, I just shrugged it off and continued to shop. But that experience has always lingers in the back of mind. Why does the US and a few other countries store our eggs in coolers but the rest of the world does not?

According to this article, the reason why some countries refrigerate their eggs and other don’t is how to go after bacteria in them or how much energy we want to put into having safe eggs. About one hundred years ago everyone washed their eggs but there were many ways to do it wrong. A batch of eggs from Australia spoiled and that left a bad impression on the British importers. With the help of machines, in the 1970’s the Department of Agriculture had created the perfect way to wash eggs and required all egg producers to do it. During that time many European countries didn’t like egg washing and Asian countries never hopped on the bandwagon.

Once you start the cleaning process, you must keep up with it and take care if the eggs. If you wash it once and then leave it, you are just spoiling the eggs. It is all about flushing out the bacteria and keeping with the process. If you just want to go crazy and eat non refrigerated eggs thats perfectly fine too. Just be cautious of where you are getting them from, but most likely when you buy eggs from a grocery store, in any country you won’t get sick.


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5 thoughts on “Should eggs really be chilled?

  1. Catherine Drinker

    This is super interesting, I think there are a lot of different cultures that have created different habits and it’s interesting that it can be so different from ours in the US and still be completely healthy. This blog makes me wonder what else we do differently from other countries.

  2. Adelaide Christine Edgett

    When I was in Australia, I noticed they didn’t refrigerate their eggs either. I was pretty wary of that at first, but the reasoning behind it actually makes sense. Not once did I ever get food poisoning from the eggs I bought there. Though since returning to the US, I always make sure my eggs are refrigerated.

  3. Nathan O'brien

    As a chicken farmer myself, I was very excited to read this article! I remember learning that the U.S. is one of the only countries that refrigerates eggs. Eggs naturally have what is known as a bloom coating on them. You did a great job explaining why we have to refrigerate eggs but nobody else does. I make sure all of my eggs get washed before they go out to customers just to remove the debris that might be on them. Really, you do not have to wash eggs, and if you don’t you can keep them out, though they will likely not stay fresh as long than if you put them in the fridge. I see what Thomas Krieger in the post above is saying about refrigerating eggs. U.S. law does require businesses to refrigerate eggs, but if you have unwashed eggs at home you really do not have to refrigerate eggs. The bloom coating on the eggs should keep them from becoming contaminated. Either way I would still refrigerate eggs anyway because how hard is it to actually put them in the fridge? You should check out this Mother Earth News article. They write some really great articles on topics like this

  4. Thomas John Krieger

    This is something that I’ve always just done, but never wondered why. I do not agree with you in saying that eggs can be left out. I work in a kitchen, and I know it is against the Board of Health to leave eggs out and not refrigerated. I was taught that this can lead to bacteria entering the egg which can lead to salmonella. Eggs must be stored in refrigeration below 45 degrees in order to adhere to the law. The link below backs up these claims.

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