Storing Eggs

How eggs need to be stored is a matter of some controversy. Who would have thought that there was any great debate as to how to look after your eggs before you cook them?!

You have two choices when it comes to storing eggs. You can either keep them in the fridge, where the low temperature will keep them fresh for a long time-four weeks or more is often expected, or you can keep them at room temperature, perhaps on an egg rack on the worktop. The most common concern with eggs is the bacteria salmonella, but if you are buying eggs stamped with the Lion Brand, they are from hens that are vaccinated against salmonella so this isn’t a concern.

Studies have been done to see whether eggs stored at room temperature spoil more quickly than those in fridge. The answer was clear-they are perfectly safe and there is no difference in the two for the first couple of weeks. But by week four there is a significant break down of the warmer eggs.

This means that if you use your eggs relatively quickly, they are perfectly safe to store out of the fridge. In fact, some top chefs claim that they taste better when cooked from room temperature, and that they mix better with other ingredients. But if you tend to buy larger boxes of eggs (which is the more budget friendly way to buy, as they tender to be cheaper per egg if you buy in bulk) or don’t use them as quickly, then you will probably want to keep them in the fridge.

An easy and safe compromise is to keep them in the fridge, but bring them out to warm to room temperature when you are going to use them. It is important to remember that the dates given on the box that you buy from the supermarket are based on storing the eggs as the box tells you to, and that normally means in the fridge.

The bottom line is this. You can store your eggs wherever you choose to, but for the longest shelf life possible, keep them in the fridge. And if you want them to last as long as the box says, store them as the box tells you to.

Also, this only applies to uncooked eggs. Information on hard boiled eggs is here.

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