Why are eggs stored in the fridge at home, but not at the supermarket?
Have you ever wondered why you can sometimes find eggs between two shelves at room temperature in the supermarket, but when you get home you put them right in the fridge? If you are curious as to why, then keep reading.
Eggs are one of the most common ingredients we use in the kitchen. We use them both cooked and raw, and they are present in both sweet and savory dishes. But this common ingredient can also cause harm to humans, especially when the product is distributed by unregulated supply chains.
These risks exist due to the fact that eggs come from inside of an animal, putting them in direct contact with the animal’s tissue. Microorganisms from feces and other contaminated sources can be deposited on the surface of the eggshell, and here is where we find salmonella. Though it is less common, contamination can occur inside the egg as well.
In any case, salmonella can pose a great problem for humans, and it is the most common cause of gastroenteritis. After just a few hours of ingestion, the first symptoms begin to appear. The effects of salmonella include stomach pain and diarrhea, and they usually last for about a week. In some cases, more serious diseases can develop, especially for those that have weakened immune systems.
So why keep eggs in the fridge?
Let’s talk about why we put freshly bought eggs right into the fridge. The reason is to manage the contaminants that we just discussed. For example, Italy and many other countries in Europe do not impose an invasive cleaning process for egg producers, unlike in the USA, and this can often promote the spread of microorganisms.
In Europe, however, more attention is given to the hygiene and overall health of farm animals as an attempt to reduce contamination. However, this does not guarantee the complete absence of contaminants, so the eggs should still be kept in the fridge. The cold temperature is able to kill any salmonella present and prevent it from regenerating.