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Old 08-11-2006, 01:00 PM   #1
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Storing Eggs

There have been many questions about how to store eggs. I ran across this answer and thought it worth sharing:

Refrigerating Eggs

In Europe, eggs are kept on the counter, while here in America we are told to keep them refrigerated. Here is why.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, all eggs sold in U.S. supermarkets must be washed and sanitized before being transported and stored at temperatures no higher than 45 degrees Fahrenheit. They must remain refrigerated (the USDA recommends storing eggs at 40 degrees) for two main reasons: to keep existing bacteria from rapidly multiplying and to stop additional bacteria from entering through the shell, made porous because washing removes a protective outer layer called the cuticle. Because eggs sold in the European Union are never washed, they can be stored unrefrigerated in a cool, dry place. But here in the States, don’t even think about keeping your eggs out on the counter.

Sandra Wu, Cook’s Illustrated, September & October, 2006


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Old 08-11-2006, 02:04 PM   #2
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hmmmm I wonder when that changed? because I remember not that long ago when eggs were kept unrefrigerated in warehouses [here in US] for ridiculously long periods of time. Then, for some reason, when they were delivered to the markets, they were supposed to be refrigerated, but often were stacked in front of the refrigerated case When I learned of those practices was pretty much when I stopped buying eggs at the supermarket.

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Old 08-11-2006, 03:25 PM   #3
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I never realized that's why they're in the fridge here. I just figured it was because it extended their shelf life (which I guess in a way does have to do with bacteria.)
I should maybe take ice packs to the store when I buy eggs from now on to then, shouldn't I?
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Old 08-11-2006, 04:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by marmar
I should maybe take ice packs to the store when I buy eggs from now on to then, shouldn't I?
I don't think you have to go that far, not that ice packs would hurt. Keep in mind you have never (I am assuming) gotten sick from what you were doing before so no reason to think that your practices are unsafe.
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Old 08-11-2006, 05:17 PM   #5
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That's what I figured GB. I knew there had been many discussions about it and a friend in Venezuela kept his in the kitchen pantry unrefrigerated. I didn't know WHY we were supposed to refrigerate them here, now I do.
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Old 08-11-2006, 05:59 PM   #6
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During the Gold Rush, they used to pack eggs in sawdust, and transport them by ship to Alaska. They were sold for $1 apiece.
I suspect that our forebears had more restistance to the bacteria in "off" foods than we do.
I also think people get a little too freaked out about all this.

I always store my eggs in the carton, in the refrigerator. As long as we are cooking them (and we really don't use them raw), we often use eggs that are 3 or more weeks past date. That's the date "best used by"...doesn't mean they are rotten.
You can tell when they are getting too old. If you crack the egg into a skillet and the yolk just kinda dissloves, throw it away. Or give it to the dog...he'll be very grateful.
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Old 08-12-2006, 12:27 PM   #7
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Yes. When we bought our chickens we were warned about washing our eggs. I just mentioned this in another thread but I leave eggs out that I am using than day when I take them out from under our cochins, other wise I put them, uncleaned but dated with a leadless pencil, in the fridge. They last for AGES. If I am not sure I try it in a bowl of water and then, satisfied I crack it into a glass and sniff. Same day or less than three day eggs for most things now though.....our five layers seem to be in competition to produce!

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