posted at 23:50
Author Name: Dina Spector
Why Europeans Dont Refrigerate Eggs
In the US, the Department of Agriculture requires that eggs destined for supermarket shelves - called graded eggs - are washed and sprayed with a chemical sanitiser before they are sold to the public to reduce the risk of salmonella infection. In the UK, Grade A hen eggs may not be washed because the process is thought to "Aid the transfer of harmful bacteria like salmonella from the outside to the inside of the egg," according to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. The bacteria can be passed on from an infected hen to the inside of the egg as it's developing, or it can get onto the outside of the shell after the egg is laid by coming into contact with the hen's feces. In the US, large-scale laying houses are preferred over the free-range systems commonly used in the UK. The factory farm environment means more eggs can be produced on a smaller amount of land, but it also makes eggs more susceptible to contamination, even with good sanitary practises. To get around the chance of that happening, the washing solution has to be hot enough - a minimum of 32.2 degrees Celsius - to prevent the egg's contents from contracting slightly as the egg cools and drawing dirty water in through the shell, according to the USDA. "The priority in egg production is to produce clean eggs at the point of collection, rather than trying to clean them afterwards," according to food safety officials in Ireland. "A cold egg left out at room temperature can sweat, facilitating the growth of bacteria that could contaminate the egg," according to the United Egg Producers association. Egg farmers began vaccinating their hens in 1997, after thousands of people were sickened by the bacteria.

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