1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Eggs: OK to leave out even if previously cold?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LovinAK, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. LovinAK

    LovinAK Out Of The Brooder

    56
    7
    33
    Feb 21, 2015
    Countless searches of mine regarding this topic has left me more confused than ever. I realize that other countries leave eggs out on a shelf at room temp, whereas here in the US the general attitude is to refrigerate. I am also aware of the fact that if the eggs have not been washed, leaving the cuticle in tact, they are safe to leave out for a certain period of time (a week or so?) at room temp.

    Here's my dilemma: I have my own flock that produces more eggs than I can consume so I sell some to co-workers. It's winter and I do not have a heated/insulated coop so by the time I collect the eggs, they are already cold (my hens don't sit on the eggs). I do not wash them and my co-workers are aware and are actually happy that I don't. They have asked me if, since they are fresh and unwashed, if it's ok to leave them out on their counter? My response is always, "since the refrigeration process has already begun, I would continue to keep them refrigerated to be on the safe side."

    I hate giving them this response due to my confusion on this subject....I would really appreciate some hard facts on the topic, especially if they have already been cold....keep refrigerated? Ok to leave out? I've read about the possibility of bacteria leaching into the pores of the shell if a cold eggs is at room temp and starts to sweat. That was enough for me to just keep them refrigerated.

    I know this may fall under a frequently asked question but since the eggs my hens lay are cold before I have time to collect them, I feel the only thing I can do in good conscience is to continue to refrigerate them and tell co-workers to do the same to prevent anyone from getting sick.

    Advice?
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    31,450
    3,460
    528
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    My only "hard fact" I can give you is my family has done exactly this most of my life. No one's ever been sick from eating an egg, and we've never had icky or bad eggs. I'm a bit skeptical of the whole "once it's been refrigerated it must always stay refrigerated" thing with eggs anyway. I've left *gasp* store eggs from the refrigerator out on the counter after cooking breakfast, used them for breakfast the next day, and the next....sometimes I'm kind of spacy about that.
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,485
    2,431
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    They can be left out. The fact that refrigeration has begun doesn't matter. What matters is if they have been washed, thereby removing the protective bloom. That action allows bacteria to enter. Refrigeration is necessary then.
    As long as the eggs haven't frozen solid (initiating cracks) or kept over 80, they can be kept at room temp or refrigerated, doesn't matter.
     
  4. LovinAK

    LovinAK Out Of The Brooder

    56
    7
    33
    Feb 21, 2015
    Thanks for the responses, I figured since the cuticle is in tact they would be ok to be left out but didn't want to tell my friends, "hey yeah they'll be fine" and then someone ends up sick. Good to know others have done the same and are alive and well :) I'm still new to the chicken thing and google searches can be scary.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    30,503
    3,385
    516
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    The only thing that concerns me about leaving once refrigerated eggs back out on the counter
    is that they can gather condensation on them due to temp change and ambient humidity,
    which may create an environment for bacteria growth whether eggs are washed or not.

    This thought harkens from my microbiology training while working in a pharmaceutical clean rooms....
    .....where there is moisture, there is life/growth.
    So probably extreme, but possible..... if not probable.
    Condensed moisture might penetrate/dilute/solve bloom, or might not.

    In winter when gathering cold eggs and bringing them in I do not see any condensation(and I've looked carefully),
    I think because it's so darn dry in the heated house there's not enough moisture in the air for condensation to form.

    Sorry no pat answer, just some thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
  6. LovinAK

    LovinAK Out Of The Brooder

    56
    7
    33
    Feb 21, 2015
    Thank you, the condensation/bacterial growth was the topic I kept coming across in searching for an answer- and because of that-I've just kept the refrigeration process going. I appreciate the response. I'll have to figure out some sort of science project for my kids to do on this topic so we can figure this out one day using culture trays. May be difficult to keep any controls in place unless we use two eggs laid at the same time. It would be worth it just to put my over-analytical mind at ease..[​IMG] Thanks again!
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    30,503
    3,385
    516
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by