Most Americans assume you should always refrigerate eggs, but is that really true?
Did you know, many European countries don’t keep their eggs in the fridge? Yet here in the US, refrigeration is required.
Why the discrepancy?
It all depends on whether the eggs are washed. When an egg is laid, it is coated with an invisible layer called the cuticle or bloom. This layer is antibacterial and helps prevent unwanted bacteria from entering the shell.
However, washing eggs removes this protective layer.
Do you have to refrigerate eggs?
In the US, eggs are required to be washed, so they have to be refrigerated.
In other parts of the world, washing is prohibited, so eggs can be left at room temperature.
As long as your fresh eggs are unwashed, keeping them out of the fridge is perfectly safe.
Just keep in mind:
Unrefrigerated eggs don’t last as long as refrigerated eggs do. I’ve seen some sources say that 1 day on the counter is equivalent to about 1 week in the fridge. So if you’re not planning on using your eggs within a week or two, you should stick them in the refrigerator.
Since all store-bought eggs are washed, make sure to refrigerate them. You don’t want to bring eggs home from the store and keep them on the counter.