When it comes to refrigerating eggs, there is a lot of confusion—and even debate—on whether it’s actually necessary. In most European countries, not refrigerating your eggs is common practice. And sure, we love the aesthetic vibe of a beautiful bowl of brown and blue-shelled eggs sitting in a wooden bowl on a countertop, as though you just gathered them from your own backyard coop. But, is it safe?
If you asked our head of Marketing, who proudly does not refrigerate his Happy Eggs, he would tell you he’s yet to run into any issues or complications from doing so. But, we’re here to give you the science and the facts...or, in more accurate verbiage, what the USDA tells us to do.
In the United States, there are strict regulations on egg washing commercially produced eggs. As soon as our eggs are gathered from the farm, they are cleaned with soap and defoamer to get rid of any surface debris. Then, a UV light sanitizes the shells, followed by a fresh-water rinse before they are packed into our beautiful yellow or blue cartons.
Throughout this process, the eggs lose their “bloom,” a protective cuticle layer on the shell. When this happens, the pores on the eggs are exposed to potential bacteria if not refrigerated. Alas, this is why all eggs you purchase at the store need to be refrigerated.
The main risk if you don’t? Salmonella. Refrigeration halts the growth of Salmonella, and keeps bacteria from getting through the pores of the shell. Similarly, if you take your eggs from the cold store refrigerator and then leave them on your warm counter, the eggs will sweat, which grows even more bacteria.
If your eggs are unwashed—maybe you were gifted eggs from a friend with hens—you can safely keep them at room temperature for up to two weeks.
The TL;DR? Refrigerate your Happy Eggs, folks. Your stomach (and the USDA) will thank you.