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Wait, Can You Keep Eggs on the Counter?

Different colored eggs sit out on a countertop.
Regina Foster/Shutterstock.com

When you go to buy eggs at the store, they’re always in the refrigerated section. So, it only makes sense that you come home and put them in your fridge, too. But, do you have to?

Many baking recipes call for room-temperature eggs. And other countries across the globe keep their eggs out of the fridge. But, it’s not a safe practice in the United States.

Chickens in the United States don’t receive vaccinations against salmonella—-a common foodborne pathogen that can make you extremely sick or even cause death. Because of that, egg farmers across the United States need to thoroughly wash all eggs quickly after they’re harvested to ensure that any potential salmonella passed on from a hen to an egg gets washed away.

Unfortunately, that washing process gets rid of the natural “bloom” on the eggs. The bloom protects an egg’s exterior from being porous. When that bloom is removed, eggs are more susceptible to other harmful pathogens, and the risk of those pathogens spreading and growing gets worse when the eggs are kept at room temperature. Keeping them cold slows down that process.

AbbyCindy 6 Cups Egg Tray Serveware

The perfect display for keeping your farm-fresh eggs on the counter.

Keep in mind that the above is typically only true when you buy eggs at the grocery store or market. If you have your own chickens or you get eggs from a local farmer, there’s a good chance the “bloom” hasn’t been washed off.

Farm-fresh eggs can last for several days at room temperature, or in a cool, dry place. There’s always a small risk of salmonella in these eggs, but some people believe room-temperature eggs taste better and the risk is worth it.

Ultimately, the choice is up to you, but to be completely safe, refrigerating your eggs is probably the best call.

Stacey Koziel Stacey Koziel
Stacey Koziel is a news writer at LifeSavvy. She's worked as a freelance writer for over ten years, focusing on family and lifestyle content. She also has a background in marketing and social media, and is always eager to talk (and write!) about the latest TikTok trends. Read Full Bio »
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