In the US, we typically keep our eggs in the refrigerator. However, in other countries, many people are storing eggs at room temperature.
In British grocery stores, you won’t find the many eggs in the refrigerator section.
Why Do We Store Eggs In The Fridge?
Why is that something we practice, even if we have farm fresh eggs from our chickens?
The thing is, store-bought eggs in the U.S. go through a process that makes it almost impossible for them to NOT need refrigeration.
The U.S. government controls the egg farmer’s practices and they make them sanitize the eggs with a solution, then spray them with warm water, and lastly, thoroughly dry them, before being sold. (*)
The government came up with these strict egg washing guidelines, to counteract spreading bacteria like salmonella through eggs. They thought washing the eggs was the best option.
This “sanitizing” process also kills the natural protection of the egg, called the bloom. Which the USDA themselves admit to. It says that a mineral oil is applied after the fact, that puts the protection back. Oh geesh. Natural is best my friends, but whatevs.
The reason why we store them this way even when people have backyard chickens, I believe is because, one it’s a learned behavior, and two for some people they need their eggs to have a longer shelf life.
Why Do Other Countries Not Refrigerate Their Eggs?
Other countries have come to basically the opposite conclusion. That washing the eggs could introduce bacteria such as salmonella.
Instead of washing eggs after the fact, they believe in a more holistic approach, which is to keep eggs clean, to begin with. Clean nesting boxes, better living conditions, etc…
Egg washing is thoroughly discouraged in many countries. Salmonella can travel inside the egg through pores in the shell more easily when the protective coating has been washed off. Which creates a higher risk to consumers. (*)
The UK actually started vaccinating their hens against salmonella in 1997, after a large outbreak earlier in the ’90s. Which eventually led to a decline in the number of salmonella cases. This is another reason why they are not as concerned about salmonella. (*)
The U.S. still has not mandated this vaccine. I read somewhere that said that the government didn’t see any evidence that it would help and that’s why they don’t mandate the vaccine.
The vaccine reportedly is so cheap, like one cent per hen. (*) It’s cost-productive, especially when you take count of the many useless deaths that occur each year, yes death! From Salmonella!
Millions are affected each year typically, and hundreds die believe it or not. (*) Especially, since these farmers are already giving hens many other vaccines to help fight other diseases, why not this one too?
So basically, there are two methods, washing and not washing eggs all for the same purpose to help cut down on killer bacteria.
Storing Eggs At Room Temperature
First, it’s very important to understand if food has been stored in refrigeration, it needs to stay in the fridge until you decide to consume it.
Eggs purchased in the United States from a grocery store must be refrigerated because of the process they go through when being “sanitized”.
This is especially true for eggs because, a cold egg left out at room temperature is said to possibly sweat, which could create a growth in bacteria that could contaminate the egg. A refrigerated egg should not be left out of refrigeration for more than two hours.
Farm Fresh Eggs! Where My Chicken Ladies At?
Yes, you can store your farm fresh eggs on the counter!
Tips For Storing Eggs at Room Temperature
- Don’t wash eggs that you intend on storing at room temperature until you’re ready to consume them!
- Don’t refrigerate and later decide to keep them at room temp. You run the risk of breeding and consuming bacteria.
- Use the first in first out or FIFO method. The newest eggs should be eaten last.
- Grab a cute basket to show off those eggs! If you’re going to be a crazy chickens lady, you should be a cute one! (recommendations below)
- Know how long eggs last on the counter.
How Long Can You Store Eggs At Room Temperature?
Farm fresh eggs that are stored on the counter typically last for about 2-3 weeks.
When you crack open an egg that’s sat at room temperature, you might notice the yolk is a more runny than usual.
That’s because the membrane that holds the yolk together gets weaker over time. Also, the albumen or egg whites are clear instead of white. These are signs that the egg is not super fresh.
Egg Baskets/Holders For Storing Eggs on The Counter
There are a ton of cute baskets and other egg holders that are great for storing eggs at room temperature on Amazon. I found a couple to share with you below. I have the skelter and know many others who have one too and everyone loves it.
Get a cute little skelter. Yes, that’s what these egg dispensers are called officially. Weird huh? Okay, well maybe it’s just me. This design is great for using the FIFO method (first in first out).
This cast iron egg holder is one of my favorites. Just make sure that you use the FIFO method (first in first out).
I love the simplicity of the wooden egg tray.
How Do We Store Our Eggs Here at Homestead Wishing?
In the summer when we have an abundance of eggs, there are usually eggs, well…EVERYWHERE. Seriously, last summer we were drowning in them. Lol.
So, my official answer is both. in and out of the fridge. Once they’re refrigerated obvi, they don’t come out until we’re ready to consume them.
I have a really funny story about exploding eggs, actually. You can read it on the how long do eggs last page
I like keeping a few eggs on the counter, because yeah they’re great to bake with.
Also, I don’t know why, but I love grabbing the eggs on the counter and cooking some eggs up in the morning. It’s just the best part of having fresh eggs.
I like storing eggs in the fridge too though. I know when I make my egg frittatas I’m going to be using an abundance of eggs, and those are usually in the fridge!
More Posts About Eggs
- Egg Float Test
- How To Boil Eggs Perfectly Every time
- Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs
- Easy Frittata
- Egg Bites Recipes
- Deviled Egg Recipe
- Egg Salad Recipe
- Which Chickens are the best egg layers?
If you want your eggs to have a longer shelf life, store them in the fridge. If you don’t mind them having a shorter life span, they can comfortably be stored on the counter for 2-3 weeks.
Let me know in the comments…
HOW DO YOU STORE YOUR EGGS? Fridge or counter?
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