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Nov 16, 2013 04:24 AM

Why is egg refrigeration mainly a US thing?

The way I was brought up (and from a family that raised chickens at one point, mostly before I showed up) the idea of not refrigerating eggs blows my mind.

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  1. Cheap energy and germophobia.

    Store bought eggs are fine on the counter in 90 F Florida summers for a minimum of 2 weeks.

    Per 5 summers on the boat.

    1. Most US eggs come from factory farms. Since the government can't make two sets of laws for different farms, they only have regulations to make eggs from factory farms safer, and smaller family farms have to comply.

      1. In the US, eggs are washed and sanitized. The washing removes the cuticle, a protective layer on the outside of the shell.

        6 Replies
          1. re: GH1618

            True, but that information was given in the link in the original post.

            1. re: Ovaltine

              So I see. Here's another reason: the refrigerator is a convenient place to keep them where they are safe from breakage. I don't have another convenient place to store eggs.

              I used to buy a tier of eggs (18) from a commercial crate that was kept unrefrigerated out in the open at a nearby market. I thought it was a good deal until I had to discard an entire batch which was unpalateable. Now I'm happy to get fresh, premium eggs from my supermarket and keep them refrigerated until use.

              1. re: GH1618

                asian markets around here often sell duck and chicken eggs unrefrigerated. while i realize it's customary in asia, they are most likely selling american eggs so it seems odd to me.

                1. re: GH1618

                  Once upon a time I used to buy 'organic' eggs from the healthfood shop. The price was good... but they didn't keep very long because they were unrefrigerated in the store. More than a few of them were deceased when I came to use them so I gave up on them and went back to refrigerated grocery store eggs.

                  1. re: Kajikit

                    These days there are "organic" eggs available in many supermarkets which are refrigerated along with all the others.

            2. I don't use eggs enough to leave them out. I refrigerate them and bring them close to room temp before cooking. I ignore expiration dates. I don't know if it is true, but I was taught by a breakfast chef that when you crack open a flat of eggs and the yolks break, use them up as scrambled eggs. If cracking an egg the yolk is in tact, it is fine - even thought the date says its a few weeks past expiration.

              I'm lucky to have local farm fresh eggs available. They are required to put an expiration date. I ate one the other day that was 3 weeks past, and it was delicious.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Bellachefa

                My understanding is that yolks break when they are too cold and put into warm cooking environments. That is why it's best to let an egg come to room temp before cooking a fried egg, for example.

                I have done the float test, that seems to be a standard for the freshness of eggs.
                However, I note more and more frequently nowadays how brittle the shells are on store eggs.
                This is a symptom of not enough grit in a chickens diet.

              2. I've never refrigerated eggs where I grew up (Germany, where they also are not refrigerated in supermarkets or at farmers markets), and I don't refrigerate them here in the US.

                That said, I buy my eggs at the farmers market, so they're pretty fresh to begin with, or get them from a friend who has her own hens.