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Author Topic: You don't have to refrigerate eggs?
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
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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
Deck the Malls


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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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Richard W
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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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Four Kitties
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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
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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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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
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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
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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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Minstrel gone caroling
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Christie:
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?

My grandma used to say that too! I just thought she was being silly, or didn't want one of us opening the door too exuberantly and causing the eggs to plop onto the floor.

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Vesta
We Three Blings


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quote:
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?


In one of my Cook's Illustared Cook books it says it's due to the fact that hard plastic doesn't allow the shell to breathe, and causes spoilage sooner. It also says that you should keep eggs in the original packaging, which is designed for maximum egg life. (I'm paraphrasing, of course.)

Vesta

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Horse Chestnut
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A few years back there was a huge scandal when it was found out that our local egg factory farm - along with dumping feces in the local streams and torturing their laying hens - was also repackaging unsold eggs and changing the dates on them. Eggs that were supposedly only a week old could actually be four weeks old. This was one of the biggest egg factories in the U.S., so you should pretty much assume that the "freshness date" on the egg carton is a total crock.

Anywho, I was always taught that a fresh egg would have a firm, high yolk and a thick white. So if you crack open an egg and the yolk flattens out and appears runny, it should be tossed.

Oh, and I refrigerate, but that's more to protect the eggs from being knocked about by the kitties.
I do take them out and let them get to room temp before I boil, since I was taught that this would keep the shells from cracking.

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spankmantha
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I don't know about actual farm hens, but my dad has fighting chickens and their eggs taste the same as store bought eggs. There is no difference. My mom used to use them in all her cooking, until she go ahold of one that "accidently" got fertilized. She started buying her eggs after that...LOL

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arluquin
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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It was a few years ago when I first heard from the Alberta Egg Producers that eggs should not be kept in the egg holder in the fridge because of temperature changes. Their website also says that keeping them in their original carton will protect the eggs from absorbing odors of nearby foods.

The website also suggests that when a recipe calls for room temperature eggs, that you should immerse them in warm water rather than leaving them out. (Actually, the whole site seems to suggest that keeping eggs cool is the only way to keep them).

quote:
Originally posted by Dogwater:
(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.

From my experience, it seems that the refrigerator manufacturers aren't making friges with egg holders any more.

What happens exactly when an egg expires? I don't go through eggs very fast, so from time to time I end up with a few that have gone past their expiration date. Will I get sick from using them or is it simply a taste and freshness thing?

Completley off topic, but I have wondered about keeping butter out on the counter. Is this a bad thing to do because it could grow a bunch of nasty bacteria?

-arluquin

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sugar cooky
I Saw Three Shipments


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I've used eggs at least a month past the exp. date, no problem. And I leave butter out, but it starts to taste stale after awhile.
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Olly London
The Red and the Green Stamps


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England's best chef, Delia Smith, recommends not refrigerating eggs in her 'How to Cook 1' book.

This is my first post by the way!

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Welcome Olly' - Let's just get this straight - Delia Smith is light years away from being the best chef in Norwich, ley alone England as a whole...

[Wink]

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Olly London
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Whoops! I was assuming it'd be mainly American people on here who may not have heard of her, so I thought I'd better explain who she is.

'One of England's best chefs' may have been more appropriate to write.

Either way, she doesn't put eggs in the fridge. Yuck.

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StewPot
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Some potato salad has hard-boiled eggs in it. Not that I'm saying StewPot's did.
Right you are, kitap, boiled eggs in my salad.

quote:
Interestingly enough, many (about 1/20) of the local eggs are double yolked.
I used to raise poultry as well, and had many double-yolked eggs. I understand they producers generally send these to bakeries and other customers since retail buyers may be disturbed by them.

Also, eggs with small amounts of blood in them are not uncommon. Certainly not pretty, but harmless.

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Gale
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by sugar cooky:
I've used eggs at least a month past the exp. date, no problem. And I leave butter out, but it starts to taste stale after awhile.

I've always been a little freaked out by the practice of keeping butter out all day. Of course, I live in a hot climate and have two cats. Ants would also cover it in nothing flat around here.
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christmas tree kitapper
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Gayle:
quote:
Originally posted by sugar cooky:
I've used eggs at least a month past the exp. date, no problem. And I leave butter out, but it starts to taste stale after awhile.

I've always been a little freaked out by the practice of keeping butter out all day. Of course, I live in a hot climate and have two cats. Ants would also cover it in nothing flat around here.
I have a butter bell ! Works like a charm.


kitap

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mrs.hi-c clown fishies
Happy Holly Days


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My GM used to leave her butter out. Easier to spread that way, I suppose. [Smile]

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