*Did you know that European eggs are stored on supermarket shelves while American eggs chill in the cold section?
Experts say it is because of the egg production process.
Unlike European eggs, American eggs are washed and sprayed with a sanitizer immediately after collection, then placed into a cooler. Bringing the eggs back to room temperature would increase the chance of bacterial growth, according to the USDA’s egg grading manual. Bottom line: we have to refrigerate our eggs because our egg distributors do.
But even eggs that are clean on the surface can harbor unsafe bacteria, said Marianne Gravely, a technical expert with USDA’s food safety hotline.
“Up until about 20 years ago, we thought inside the egg was safe. But then we discovered that the chicken can pass salmonella infection through its ovaries to the egg,” she said, explaining that refrigerating eggs is an easy safeguard against bacteria wherever you live. Cooking eggs thoroughly also reduces the risk of food-borne illness, according to the USDA.
Though American eggs need to chill, these four foods are probably taking up space in your fridge when they can be stored safely on the counter.