For most of us in the United States, we expect our eggs washed and refrigerated. But did you know that’s not the norm in most of the rest of the world?
In fact, it’s unlawful in Europe to wash eggs, and with good reason.
So why do American eggs get washed and refrigerated? Factory farming.
In fact, the FDA regulations say eggs need to be sterilized and chilled to reduce the chance of salmonella making its way into the eggs. That’s less of a problem in the rest of the world, though, because eggs are raised differently elsewhere.
As a result, eggs elsewhere in the world are usually unwashed and kept at room temperature. They may even come in irregular sizes and shapes, with bits of mud and feather still attached.
American factory farms, though, are a breeding ground for disease, and so the FDA regulates how the resulting eggs are washed. Because chickens are raised and eggs harvested in better conditions elsewhere in the world, though, there’s less of a need for the washing.
For those living in the States, though, don’t go pulling the eggs out of your refrigerator. Doing that could actually cause problems and make it so you actually get sick. With the cuticle washed off and the egg shocked back to room temperature, it’s easy for bacteria to move through the porous shell.
Luckily, you’ve got options for solutions to this problem:
- Find a farmer that doesn’t wash or chill their eggs, and keep them that way once they’re home.
- Get some chickens and produce your own, keeping them unwashed and unchilled.
- Or you could move to a place like Mexico, where keeping eggs au natural is the normal way to do things.
Regardless of how you handle it, what’s important is that you are aware of the situation. Eggs are not meant to be washed or chilled before storage! If you buy them chilled they need to remain that way, the only way is to find an alternate source.
h/t: Homestead Guru
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