Why Do Americans Refrigerate Eggs When Most of the World Doesn't?

Why Do Americans Refrigerate Eggs When Most of the World Doesn't?

When buying eggs here in the U.S., you remove them from the refrigerated aisle at the grocery store and then proceed to place them in your refrigerator at home. This seems so natural and necessary to Americans, that most wouldn't even consider the process of refrigerating eggs worth contemplating. However, we are one of the few nations in the world that actually refrigerates eggs. Only Americans, Australians, the Japanese and Scandinavians keep their eggs cool across the globe. So, have we been handling our eggs all wrong?

In the rest of the world, eggs are not kept cool in the grocery store, and they are certainly not refrigerated after being purchased. But why is this? Eggs naturally contain a membrane on their shell to keep them safe from salmonella. In the U.S., eggs are promptly washed after being laid, which removes this protective covering. In turn, the eggs must be refrigerated immediately afterward to keep them from getting contaminated.

So, the American egg industry must be committed to refrigeration. The eggs are refrigerated when they are harvested, kept cool on the trucks transporting them and, of course, must stay cold when they arrive at the grocery store. So while it seems normal that eggs are refrigerated, the process to keep the eggs cool actually increases the cost. The refrigeration can also waste a lot of energy. Still, if you're living in America and not buying eggs directly from a farmer, it's important to keep them in the fridge.

Watch the video above to learn more about why Americans refrigerate their eggs. Then, check out the slideshow below to discover why you've been cooking eggs all wrong too!

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