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Dear Counselor Chomp: Do I Need to Refrigerate Eggs?

May 23, 2011

Dear Counselor Chomp,

Do eggs need to be refrigerated?  Even if they don’t need to be, should they be?

How about if your cohabitant wrongly insists refrigeration is necessary?

—I’m Right, Right?

Dear Right,

In my experience, nothing makes one crave one’s eggs a particular way faster than an opinionated cohabitant throwing up all sorts of roadblocks.

I used to want a butter bell: a device that keeps butter at room temperature, upside-down, with a little water seal to keep it safe. It was exciting for so many reasons. Butter on the table all the time. The allure of science with the water seal. Butter than you can spread without tearing the bread. Butter that tastes better, because it’s not cold.

Anyhow, my husband said it seemed like “makework” to have to stuff the butter into this upside-down thing, and wouldn’t the butter just fall out, or would it get wet in there? How often would we need to wash it, he wanted to know? I prevailed, though, and until the cat broke it while we were on vacation, we lived a very happy life of eating lots of room temperature butter together. And recently we got a new, even more expensive butter bell from Etsy, and it’s even cuter. I wish for such a happy outcome for you.

However, unless you are getting your eggs fresh, ie, from a farm, and they have never been washed or refrigerated, I’m going to have to side with the cohabitant here.

In fact, if you are Canadian — which I’d like to acknowledge as a distinct possibility because of Church Avenue Chomp’s international readership — your government strongly suggests refrigerating all eggs. They also want you to bleach everything — everything— with a mild bleach solution, so you may not want take everything that the Canadians have to say to heart. I haven’t gone to the trouble to see what my own government suggests, but I have a feeling that the U.S. is even more likely to insist upon chilly eggs.

I wish my answer were different, but I think that you’re better safe than sorry, especially if you have young egg eaters in the house.

If you want to keep at least something racy and fun on the counter, try butter. Or get a salt cellar with a little kosher salt. If you keep limes on the table, they will become little brown pellets. Turning limes into brown pellets is my hobby. Put those, and the eggs, into the fridge.

To get your question answered by Counselor Chomp, email it to churchchomp at gmail dot com.

One Comment leave one →
  1. frankly manny permalink
    May 23, 2011 8:36 pm

    As everyone knows, I’m a big proponent of salmonella, and so it’s my duty to dispute this bit of Canadian folferrol. Aside from my own heavily researched opinions regarding salmonella and its health benefits, my question is this: since when do we take our egg marching orders from those posers up to the north?

    Let me follow up with a second question, which is this: Who invented the egg? Americans, of course. And if not us, it certainly was NOT the Canadians. So. To you, good Sir or Madam I’m Right, Right?, to you I say, leave your eggs boldly, brashly, inventively, dare I say Americanly on the counter for as long as you like, because it’s your right, your birth right, by God.

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