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Why Do We Have to Refrigerate Eggs?

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Eggshells have been described as a perfect package. Why then do we need to refrigerate them? If you have traveled in Europe you may have noticed that eggs are not refrigerated. If you have eaten an omelet in Paris, you probably noticed the center was “runny.” That’s Paris.

We refrigerate eggs to keep the bacterial content low and to increase shelf-life, right?   Well sort of. An uncompromised eggshell will not allow bacterial entry and it will maintain a long shelf life. However, refrigeration at 45 degrees Fahrenheit or below provides a margin of safety.

We refrigerate eggs and fully cook them because approximately 1 egg in 10,000 contains Salmonella directly from the chicken. And I’ve also seen other studies indicating an even higher frequency for Salmonella containing eggs. If not refrigerated, these eggs would quickly become a problem.

This is one of the reasons that the United States has the best Food Safety Programs in the world.

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