Carolyn Bell, RDN, CSSD
How long can eggs stay unrefrigerated? Store bought eggs, which have been through manufacturing and packaging, can be left unrefrigerated for up to 2 hours to avoid bacterial contamination. Once eggs have been washed, their original protective coating has been removed, leaving tiny pores in the eggshells – allowing bacteria into the eggs. Always refrigerate eggs (that have been washed or store-purchased) within 2 hours.
Farm fresh eggs can remain unrefrigerated for days, as long as they have not been washed or rinsed. These eggs that retain the natural protective coating are resistant to bacteria, and safe to eat. It is helpful to be aware of the farm sanitation and disease policies and procedures for your farm fresh eggs. Clean, disease free environments for egg laying are important to consider – when keeping fresh, farm eggs unrefrigerated.
Eggs are also high in lutein, which studies show to be protective against eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Egg whites contain satiating, high quality protein, which is very low in calories. Enjoy your eggs for good health benefits, and be sure to store them properly according to how the eggs have been handled.