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Home » Blog » Should You Keep Eggs in the Fridge?

Should You Keep Eggs in the Fridge?

Have you ever wandered through international markets and wondered why eggs in the U.S. and Canada stand cool in the fridge, while in other countries, they bask in baskets or sit pretty on supermarket shelves? The mystery unravels, and it’s not about right or wrong – it’s about local regulations shaping the fate of these versatile orbs.

Do Eggs Really Need a Chill Spot?

Eggs are international travelers, and their destination – chilled or not – is a product of local rules. The U.S., Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Scandinavia play the cold card to combat salmonella risk, insisting on washing, processing, and refrigerating eggs.

However, whether eggs embrace the cold or enjoy room temperature depends on a country’s rules, cost considerations, and shelf life preferences. Once an egg feels the chill, it must stay cool; warming up can lead to moisture, inviting bacteria to join the party.

Why Some Countries Keep Eggs Warm

In most European and Asian nations, eggs don’t take the cold plunge. They remain unwashed, preserving a natural shield called the cuticle that fends off bacteria. In these lands, refrigeration is a foreign concept for eggs.

To Chill or Not to Chill?

Freshly laid eggs at your fingertips? If you’re in the U.S., washing and refrigeration are the norm for store-bought eggs. Backyard eggs, however, can lounge at room temperature if unwashed. Quick refrigeration extends their shelf life, and if you’re planning a quick culinary rendezvous within a day or two, room temperature is a safe haven.

Supermarket eggs? No need for a scrub-down. The USDA even warns against it, as washing can invite trouble through shell pores. But if you’re the proud custodian of backyard eggs, a thorough wash before cooking is the golden rule.

How Long Do Chilled Eggs Last?

Chilled eggs, when treated right, have a lifespan of three to six weeks. Check the carton for a regulated best-by date. Unsure about freshness? The float test is your ally – sink means fresh, float means farewell.

For eggs, the fridge is home. Keep them cozy in their original carton to dodge flavor mix-ups. Opt for a fridge shelf over the door, maintaining a steady temperature. Fluctuating temperatures can speed up the spoilage process.


1. How long can eggs brave the room temperature? According to the USDA, two hours is the limit. Beyond that, bacteria can throw a party.

2. Why do Europeans skip the fridge for eggs? Most European eggs retain the cuticle shield, deterring bacterial growth, eliminating the need for refrigeration.

3. How to spot a bad egg? The float test is your guide. Sink equals freshness, float signals spoilage. Cracked eggs with odd colors or smells? That’s the sign – it’s time to part ways.

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Maya Clark
Maya Clark