Do eggs have to be refrigerated

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “do eggs have to be refrigerated?” We will also discuss what is the best way to store eggs to enlarge their shelf life and some other FAQs about this ingredient.

Do eggs have to be refrigerated?

Yes, eggs have to be refrigerated. Because of the risk of Salmonella, eggs should always be kept under refrigeration to reduce the risk. When left at room temperature, bacteria likely penetrate the egg shells.

Keep in mind that the maximum time you can keep your eggs outside the fridge is for only two hours! Past this time, the microorganisms will start to proliferate quickly, which will end with rapid spoilage.

Why is it important to keep your eggs refrigerated?

The reason why eggs need to be kept in refrigeration is that Salmonella is contained in the eggs shell. To reduce the risk of this bacteria, you must buy your eggs in a place where they were submitted to a process of washing and pasteurizing.

Pasteurization is a mechanism that permits the killing of most microorganisms contained in egg shells. It also helps to remove the natural coating of the shell, which makes them more susceptible to harmful bacteria that can be found floating around in your fridge.

 Once you have refrigerated the eggs, they could not be kept for more than two hours outside a cold environment. If you do not attend to this, pathogens can start to proliferate very quickly.

So, whether or not your eggs were pasteurized, it is a must to keep them refrigerated to prevent quick spoilage.

What is Salmonella?

We have read and heard this term a lot of times, but what is it? Well, Salmonella is a bacteria that is found in the gut of warm-blooded animals. When maintained in its original environment, there are no risks of getting an infection.

However, when you find this bacteria in the food supply, it can lead to severe symptoms that can range from mild to lethal. 

It was in studies performed during the 1980s when it was determined that about 77% of Salmonella outbreaks in the US originated from eggs. 

So, after this it is natural that it was a priority to find a way to diminish the risk of this infection.

Although this bacteria is found in the eggshell, it can penetrate it. To avoid this, you must guarantee proper handling of this ingredient. Some measures you can apply are

  • Store the eggs below 40° F, this way you can alter the reproduction of the bacteria.
  • If you keep a temperature of at least 160° F you can kill any bacteria found in the egg.
  • Do not leave your eggs unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours.
  • Avoid washing your eggs, if they are contaminated, you can spread the bacteria to all of the surfaces.

Are there any disadvantages to refrigerating eggs?

It is recommended to keep your eggs refrigerated, especially if you live in a warm zone. However, refrigeration can also exhibit some cons, keep reading to find out about it.

Pros and cons of refrigerating eggs

Refrigeration can lead to enlarging the shelf life of the product. This storage method can double its shelf life.

Eggs can absorb the odors and smells floating in the fridge. However, you can avoid this by storing them in an airtight container inside the fridge.

Refrigerating can prevent Salmonella growth, which can cause severe consequences to human health.

Do not store the eggs in the fridge door. Doing this can cause fluctuations in temperature that can mess up the quality of eggs.

When baking, it is not advisable to use cold eggs, but this can be solved by leaving them at room temperature sometime before using them.

Why is refrigeration of eggs not needed in Europe?

Yes, as you read it, some countries in Europe do not need to refrigerate their eggs, and why is that? Well, it is not that they do not care about Salmonella, but they have implemented sanitation and vaccination against this bacteria.

A country that has succeeded in preventing Salmonella is the United Kingdom, and that is because they implemented a program to vaccinate all egg-laying hens. This resulted in lower rates of Salmonella outbreaks.

If you want to read more about the results of this study, you can click here.

Not even supermarkets are forced to keep the eggs refrigerated, just cool. So, if you ever visit Europe, you might want to avoid washing your eggs as it can even be considered illegal.

Other FAQs about Eggs that you may be interested in.

Do boiled eggs float

Can you freeze an egg?

Can you leave hard-boiled eggs out overnight


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “do eggs have to be refrigerated?” We have also discussed other queries related to the subject at hand. 

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.