Eggs are a staple food product in many households. Eaten mostly in breakfast all over the world, eggs are a great source of proteins, B vitamins, and minerals. As eggs have a low shelf life, most of us refrigerate eggs to prolong its usage. But, people in Europe widely discourage refrigerating their eggs. Read on to know why!
Eggs are mostly stored in refrigerators, which clearly explains the reason we have a designated compartment in our refrigerators to store eggs. It is believed that when eggs are not stored in refrigerators they may cause salmonella poising. But, people in Europe believe otherwise. Shocking, isn’t it?
Well, call it the cultural difference or whatever, but that’s correct. Europeans prefer to store eggs over the counter and not in refrigerators. As they believe storing eggs in refrigerators may encourage salmonella growth. Strange that the same bug can thrive in conditions that people in the US consider to be safe.
Salmonella is the most widely known bacteria that cause food poisoning. To control the growth of salmonella, the US food agencies initiated the process of washing eggs with a soap solution and hot water after they are laid. This hot water shower may potentially wash away salmonella and cuticle, which is a thin coating over the eggs. In the absence of cuticle, eggs cannot keep the harmful bacteria out of the egg shell and thus require refrigeration to protect them from getting infected.
Meanwhile, in Europe, the food agencies preferred to save the cuticle layer by keeping it intact and made it illegal to wash the eggs. In this case, refrigerating eggs may cause mildew growth and bacterial contamination, in case the eggs sweat when their temperature comes down to room temperature, after being laid. To counter the growth of salmonella they instead proposed to vaccinate the chickens against this harmful bacteria.
Well, both the opposite theories have their pros and cons. Refrigerated eggs have a longer shelf life but the eggs tend to absorb the flavor and odor from the foods present in the refrigerator. Some experts also claim that eggs stored at room temperature tastes better and are an ideal choice for baking.
In case you plan to switch to the room temperature eggs, it is suggested that you buy only the fresh produce, at farmers market probably. However, try to always clarify and clear any doubt, from the seller about the washed and unwashed status of the eggs that you purchase.