Do Eggs Need to Be Refrigerated?
There are many reasons why you may want to keep your eggs at room temperature. If you live in a cold climate where it snows often or you work outside all day, then keeping them at room temperature will save money on food costs. You could even use the extra money saved from buying cheaper eggs!
If you are worried about salmonella contamination, then you might want to keep your eggs refrigerated. Salmonella is a bacteria that causes illness when someone eats contaminated food. Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps and vomiting.
It can sometimes lead to death. Most people recover completely from salmonellosis but some people develop severe illnesses such as liver failure or even death.
The best way to prevent salmonella contamination is to cook your eggs thoroughly before eating them. Cooking destroys harmful germs and prevents cross-contamination between different types of foods. A good rule of thumb is to cook eggs until they are no longer runny, but still firm enough to hold their shape when held under the finger.
Once cooked, they should remain safe for up to one week at room temperature (or two weeks in the refrigerator).
Do not consume raw or undercooked eggs, egg products or foods containing these items. Refrigerate them and use them within two days or freeze for up to six months.
Unsafe handling can lead to cross-contamination with other foods and cause illness. Thoroughly wash any utensils, containers, countertops and any other items that came into contact with the raw or undercooked eggs before using them again. If you have any doubts about the safety of your eggs, throw them out.
Always buy pasteurized eggs to ensure their safety.
Sources & references used in this article:
Do raw eggs need to be refrigerated along the food chain? Is the current EU regulation ensuring high-quality shell eggs for the European consumers? by K Fikiin, S Akterian, B Stankov – Trends in Food Science & Technology, 2020 – Elsevier
Salmonella Enteritidis in shell eggs: current issues and prospects for control by ZR Howard, CA O’Bryan, PG Crandall… – Food Research …, 2012 – Elsevier
Effects of processing on the microbiology of eggs by RC Baker, C Bruce – Microbiology of the avian egg, 1994 – Springer
Processing and packaging shell eggs by G Zeidler – Commercial chicken meat and egg production, 2002 – Springer
Influence of the level and location of contamination on the multiplication of Salmonella enteritidis at different storage temperatures in experimentally inoculated eggs by RK Gast, PS Holt – Poultry Science, 2000 – Elsevier