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Author Topic: You don't have to refrigerate eggs?
Dogwater
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This was sent to my wife, and she sent it to me as a lark, to see how many WTFs? I could gleen from it. This struck me as odd:
quote:
It is also wise NOT to refrigerate your eggs. If you have ever been to Europe or South America and gone into the grocery stores you will know that this is commonly done in those countries.
How long can an unfertilized egg remain bacteria free? I always assumed that in non-refrigerated circumstances, eggs were collected and eaten within a short time of eachother, not stored for days or weeks on end.

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dknjms
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Here in Australia eggs are sold off the supermaket shelves.
According to a chef I asked about this when my mother started keeping eggs in a basket on the bench, the reason not to refrigerate eggs is because they crack and mix better from room temperature, something about cold causing the white and yolk to thicken.
I gave it a try and found that there is a difference in the consistency and the shell seems to break more evenly when at room temperature.
I have also studied agriculture and food hygiene and been taught that refrigeration is no deterrent to bacteria growth, or potential food poisoning, typically the only difference is the various kinds of bacteria that may grow, and that eggs can keep for at least a week without being refrigerated. Some people swaer that non-refrigeration helps them last longer.

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Cubism artist
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Same here, in Mexico eggs are sold off the supermarket, stores and market shelves. My mother used to keep them without refrigeration until she got a new fridge with spaces specially designed for eggs.
I have not tried what dknjms says, but at least I have noticed the cosistency of the shell is different.

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Four Kitties
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Eggs do mix better and crack more evenly at room temperature, which is why you're supposed to take them out of the fridge half an hour or so before baking.

A dozen eggs lasts me three weeks at least -- I'm going to keep on refrigerating them.

Four Kitties

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Dogwater
Happy Holly Days


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I suppose, in hindsight, the egg shell must be pretty impervious to micro-baddies invading it. After all, they need to protect the developing chick.

I've always been taught though, that eggs are time bombs of disease if they aren't kept cold. Like Four (2 squared) Kitties , I'll never be comfortable leaving them at room temp except for baking purposes. (You need them at room temp when trying to make a merangue)

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GooglyEyes
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like Dogwater and Four Kitties, I just don't feel comfortable taking the chance...which is wierd because when I found out you don't need to refrigerate peanut butter or ketchup I stopped (made it easier to spread/squeeze). But, jelly (preserves or jam to non americans) still says to be refrigerated despite my buying probably the most fake jelly out there. Eggs warm just seems wierd.
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Mad Jay
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quote:
Originally posted by dknjms:
Here in Australia eggs are sold off the supermaket shelves.
According to a chef I asked about this when my mother started keeping eggs in a basket on the bench, the reason not to refrigerate eggs is because they crack and mix better from room temperature, something about cold causing the white and yolk to thicken.

Nothing that a good electric beater or a minute of extra beating can't fix. I don't know of any recipes that say that the egg must be beaten lightly except ommelletes. For those, I have noticed that milk tends to dissolve the eggy stuff much better that extra beating. Unless I see a recipe that asks for lightly beaten eggs at room temperature, I'm not going to take the chance.

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resELution
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The SO and I used to buy salt-cured eggs off the shelf, room temperature at the asian grocery store we go to. We brought them home and kept them in the fridge though.

I'm like 4 Kitties though. I don't go through eggs fast enough to feel comfortable leaving them out.

I also go through bread slowly enough that I refridgerate it too.

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reflex
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They leave eggs out in Guatemala...actually, they leave EVERYTHING out. When I was down there for the first time, my wife's family ordered a 'meter of pizza'...we only ate half a meter. A day later, everyone was munching on the pizza that was left in the oven (off the whole time). Freaked me out quite a bit - but nobody got sick.

I also noticed that the milk did not get warm as fast as it does here. This could be because Guatemala City is in the mountains.

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inkiemouse
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My grandma had me leave a 2L of milk in her car for a few hours (I think maybe 6-7 hours), sometimes with the AC on, sometimes off.

I was really iffy about it (my mom is a "put that in the fridge!" nazi), but in the end, the milk was fine.

I'm just always under the impression that food will go bad five minutes after leaving it out. Thank my mom for that. ~_~;;;

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Dragon Wench
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one thing that learned about eggs while growing up (we had about 60 chickens) is that you don't need to refridgerate eggs and also if you get your eggs strait from the chicken they last longer if you don't wash them until just before you use them. I was told that it was because there is a light film on the outside of the egg that helps keep bacteria out.

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Die Capacitrix
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Eggs are on the shelf and in the chilled area here, depending on the store. People can choose to buy 4/6/10 eggs at a time. Since refrigerators are so small, most people are not going to buy more eggs that what they need in the immediate future.

And it is possible to buy hard-boiled eggs. Convenient for picnics, etc. A little more expensive. At Easter time, the store had so many, they had some on the shelf, even though that particular store normally has them in the chilled area.

Most stores operate on a Just In Time schedule, so the eggs haven't been sitting on a shelf for a while. And in the other store, I can buy eggs that were laid in town. Those eggs sometimes have little feathers stuck to them.

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Richard W
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This is something that's always really confused me, actually. In the UK eggs are sold straight from a non-refrigerated shelf (or non-refrigerated in the butchers or wherever). But the supermarket boxes say "Keep refrigerated" on the front, and everybody takes them home and puts them straight in the fridge.

Anyway, they seem to be fine non-refrigerated, and I'm pretty sure that's nothing to do with "Just In Time" schedules.

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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It's the temperature fluctuation that's the issue here - eggs kept in the fridge = fine, eggs bought from and kept on the shelf = fine - it's when the line blurs that salmonella can cause a problem.

Example - Eggs bought from the fridge and kept on the shelf = Bad

Eggs brought out of the fridge, not used and returned to the cold = Bad.

Eggs need a steady temperature, and an icebox is probably better than a kitchen shelf for maintaining this...

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the Virgin Marrya
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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hmmn, maybe I'm odd, then. I buy eggs by the tray [2 1/2 dozen], unpack them into a box, and keep them in the pantry until they're used up - probably a month or more.

I've never been sick from them [although I don't eat raw eggs - except in cookie dough!]

It could be to do with freshness - our eggs are picked locally, so they hit the supermarket shelf within +/- 36 hours of laying.

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Nothing odd about that Marrya - eggs kept in a cool pantry will last just fine a month. My Mum has never kept an egg inthe fridge in her life, but she also never leaves them in sunlight, or next to a hot stove, warming and cooling etc

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have yourself a Merry Little Galaxy
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A cooking magazine over here addressed this issue in a reader's letter - eggs in the supermarket have a high turnover, so they don't stay at room temperature so long. But they recommend refrigerating eggs at home due to our 'warm climate'.

I refrigerate mine because I, too, don't use them up fast enough - I just don't feel safe. (Although I confess to having a pantry full of partially-used sauce bottles that advise "Refrigerate after opening"!)

BTW although egg whites whip better at room temperature, eggs separate more easily when cold.

Little Galaxy

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Dogwater
Happy Holly Days


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(Puts on tin foil hat, extracts silver fillings and sits down in the middle of a large crop circle)The whole myth that all your food needs to stay chilled is a conspiracy by Whirlpool and Frigidar to make us buy larger and larger refrigerators. The larger the better, so there is room in the secret panel in the rear to hide the mind control ray that causes us to vaccinate our children wich will contain more mind control drugs. Frigidar and Whirpool, of course, are owned by the secret government and they use the profits from appliance sales to buy more black helicopters.

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StewPot
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I got a very nasty case of food poisoning once from potato salad made with non-refrigerated eggs. It was more than five years before I could stomach potato salad again.

I have eaten many non-refrigerated eggs that have not made me sick. From what I have read, there are two factors at play:

First, the presence of existing bacteria inside the egg. All eggs have strains of bacteria inside them when they are laid, but not usually in a harmful amount. Also, not all have strains of salmonella.

Second, the extent of growth and reproduction of bacteria inside the egg. Refrigeration undoubtedly slows this process.

So, while eggs certainly last longer than most other animal products outside of the refrigerator, and while there are advantages to room-temperature eggs, I will continue to keep mine in the fridge.

Incidentally,
quote:
It is also wise NOT to refrigerate your eggs. If you have ever been to Europe or South America and gone into the grocery stores you will know that this is commonly done in those countries.
the fact that food is left unrefrigerated in some other parts of the world does not mean it's better that way. In the Philippines, eggs, poultry, pork, and fish are all left unrefrigerated, but you will never convince me that it is "wise NOT to refrigerate" them.

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Chickee Daizy
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I have never even heard of this. I thought eggs would get smelly and green inside if you didn't keep them cold.

I may try keeping my eggs out of the fridge, just so I can say I have done it.

I learn something new everyday on this board.

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Dougc
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I've raised chickens for years. It's true that a fresh egg will stay fresh for up to 2 months without refrigeration, but it should be kept cool in a pantry.

However, I refrigerate all my eggs. I do not agree that an egg is better when it is not refrigerated except for some slight benefits already mentioned when baking with room temperature eggs.

When I lived in France, eggs were cheapest if we bought them 5 dozen at a time, and our teeny little refrigerator didn't have room. We'd just keep them on the shelf, and it would take us 4-6 weeks to eat them all. I never got sick.

There is no telling how long ago an egg was laid when you buy it from the grocery store, and if they've washed it, it won't last as long as mentioned by someone else. I don't wash the eggs I get from my chickens unless they have too much -- uh -- natural stuff on the shell. I wash those.

And what is this Grade AA thing these days? If those eggs are grade AA, then I'm a chicken. A grade AA egg should be perfectly shaped, perfectly smooth with a uniformly thick shell, and no visible blemishes at all. I have not seen a good grade AA egg in a long time -- they're all typically grade B. Doesn't this bother anyone else?

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Mizu
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As far as I know, Grade AA is a bit lower quality than Grade A eggs. Trust me, I've seen some Grade AA eggs at work that really should not have been allowed to leave where they came from, as far as I'm concerned. They have slight bits of dirt (or chicken crap) on them. But it's not bad...usually.

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and created the other side of myself in the darkness" ~ Kawaita Sakebi~ Field of View

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by StewPot:
I got a very nasty case of food poisoning once from potato salad made with non-refrigerated eggs. It was more than five years before I could stomach potato salad again.

Eggs in potato salad? Were you making your own mayonnaise? That might be more to do with raw eggs than with non-refrigerated eggs. Not that I really know what I'm talking about.
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christmas tree kitapper
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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
quote:
Originally posted by StewPot:
I got a very nasty case of food poisoning once from potato salad made with non-refrigerated eggs. It was more than five years before I could stomach potato salad again.

Eggs in potato salad? Were you making your own mayonnaise? That might be more to do with raw eggs than with non-refrigerated eggs. Not that I really know what I'm talking about.
Some potato salad has hard-boiled eggs in it. Not that I'm saying StewPot's did.

kitap

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Tabbymago
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According to Alton Brown, "A room temperature egg ages more in one day than a refrigerated egg ages in a week." From the same source also comes the statement that the grade of an egg is based on the inside rather than the outside, and that time downgrades eggs. So if you want your eggs to have the quality that the packaging claims and you're not planning on eathing them soon, keep 'em refrigerated.

-Tabby
the princess with claws.

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the Virgin Marrya
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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I picked up a tray of white eggs the other day, and Lil Miss wanted to know what they were.

It strikes me as incredibly rare to see more than a token white egg in a box these days.

Is it racism [Big Grin] or just local egg maunfactuary - what do you get? White or brown, or a choice??

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Spam & Cookies-mmm
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In the US, cartons of eggs are segregated by color, and by size. All brown eggs I can find are "large", and I like jumbo, so I rarely get brown eggs anymore.

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Chimera
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I have a stupid (racist?) question. Is there any difference between white and brown eggs? Nutition, taste, whatever? I mostly buy white eggs (they are far more common and many of the eggs I buy are for easter dyeing). However I will occasionally buy brown if they are on sale and/or all that's left (or all that's left in the size and amount I want). However I very rarely eat an egg by itself (and then its usually just a deviled egg... I guess that isn't really by itself either). I'll use them for baking or other recipes. I'll occasionaly drop a raw one in my breakfast beer and tomato juice. But I don't really like eggs so I'm just curious to hear from egg eaters if there is a difference.

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What is the use of women?"
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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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Brown eggs are local eggs,
And local eggs are fresh!


Jingle on the TV here, sponsored by the Egg Council or whomever.

IIRC, the color of the eggs has to do with the breed of the chickens. Since most of the chickens around here are Rhode Island Reds, which lay brown eggs, we get brown eggs.

There is absolutely no difference whatsoever except shell color between brown & white eggs.

In the Kitties household we only ever get white eggs for dyeing at Easter -- the rest of the time we get brown.

Four Kitties

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ToadMagnet
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I used to get eggs from a friend who raised chickens who laid colored eggs - a South American breed, I think. Made for a very pretty box of eggs.

Here in the US, we are extremely paranoid about our germs. At least, about the germs someone told us to be paranoid about. Eggs fall into that category. The apple industry almost collapsed a decade or so ago when news hit that washing an apple mightn't remove all the bug spray and panicked parents and schools stopped serving apples to the innocent widdle childwen (never mind that these same people kiss their dogs, eat unwashed grapes at the grocery store, and brush their teeth with a toothbrush parked less than 3 feet from their germ-infested toilet bowl flush mist).

I refrigerate eggs, and assume that those I buy from the store are more dangerous than those from friends with chickens. The latter also taste better, IMO.

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Chimera
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Thanks Four Kitties, I'd always wondered about that.

ToadTangent, its interesting to hear that you believe fresh eggs taste better than grocery store eggs. While it makes sense that a fresher product would taste better I like well washed grocery eggs. My parents and a few of my friends live in the country with cows, goats, chickens, pigs and stuff. I've seen recently laid eggs before. They have always bothered me. As someone else mentioned they have icky stuff on them that I'd rather not think too much about. That alone has stopped me from ever personally using the product. Most people I know just rinse the egg off (if they do that much) but it still makes me uneasy. What are you supposed to do to clean fresh eggs? I've already learned the hard way that the stuff that comes from a cow's teat is far different than the pasterized grocery store varriety.

Chim "I think I prefer my food processed" era

ETA: I remember the apple alar (?) scare. There was a time my parents wouldn't by any apple that might have been treated with it. At the time they had a neitherland dwarf bunny who loved apples and they thought because he was only about 5 lbs the stuff would kill it.

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What is the use of women?"
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Die Capacitrix
We Three Blings


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The local eggs (still bought from a store, but they are laid locally) are sold mixed. Each carton has an equal number of brown eggs and white eggs.

Interestingly enough, many (about 1/20) of the local eggs are double yolked.

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Vesta
We Three Blings


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quote:
I used to get eggs from a friend who raised chickens who laid colored eggs - a South American breed, I think. Made for a very pretty box of eggs.

Aracunas (sp?). We used to have some. Fresh eggs are so much better than store bought. I'm still trying to figure out if I could get away with having a couple of laying hens in my (very) suburban back yard.

When I told my husband about this thread he said he could still remember his grandma not refriderating eggs. I had no idea that was even an option.

Vesta

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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I remember my mother never using the little egg tray that came on the door of her fridge because she said the eggs would go bad. According to my mom the opening and closing of the fridge door would somehow affect the eggs and make them go "off". Anyone else ever heard that?

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Tabbymago
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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The frequent changes in temperature that come with keeping eggs in the fridge door can promote "drying and breakage," according to the same episode I quoted above.

-Tabby
the princess with claws

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