Why Raw Eggs are Refrigerated in the United States
In every restaurant and nearly every home in the United States, raw eggs are stored under refrigeration at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. According to food manager certification MN and other food safety training courses, the reason for this is to prevent Salmonella. Salmonella is a food-borne gastrointestinal illness that affects a reported 42,000 Americans each year. This number is certainly higher due to many mild cases which go unreported. In an effort to prevent outbreaks of this type of food-borne illness, eggs are required to be refrigerated in businesses where they are sold or cooked for public consumption.
Why the United Kingdom does not refrigerate raw eggs
Travelers to the United Kingdom, and many other parts of the world, often notice that raw eggs are not refrigerated and are most often stored at room temperature. This is a puzzle to many who have been taught that eggs must always be refrigerated. The answer to this question lies in a brief explanation of the differences in egg production and distribution between the United States and Great Britain.
The different philosophy of egg storage between the two countries is due to the difference in production standards. In the United States, eggs are washed and sanitized after they are harvested, while regulations in Great Britain require that eggs remain dry during production and distribution. It has been suggested that the rinsing of eggs destroys the thin natural protective layer, knows as the cuticle, which can prevent contaminates from entering the egg.
In the United Kingdom, a majority of egg producers vaccinate their egg-laying hens in an effort to prevent disease. This process is minimally employed here in the United States.
According to an article written for www.foodsafetynews.com, these practices have “reduced the incidence of Salmonella illnesses in Britain from 14,771 reported cases in 1997 to 581 cases in 2009.”
The entire foodsafeteynews.com article can be found here:http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/07/why-americans-refrigerate-raw-shell-eggs-and-europeans-dont/#.U-jdmfldWCl
Preventing Salmonella Poisoning From Eggs
In order to complete food manager certification in MN, knowledge of preventing food-borne illness is a must. Salmonella is a common food-borne illness that can potentially be deadly, but is also easily prevented. There are a few things to keep in mind when dealing with eggs that can prevent the spread of this illness.
• Eggs must be refrigerated at temperatures under 40 degrees Fahrenheit
• Broken eggs can be easily contaminated and must be thrown away
• Dirty eggs should be cleaned
• Pasteurized liquid eggs should be substituted for raw shell eggs when a large quantity is required
The full food manager certification MN statutes regarding eggs can be found at: