You've probably heard or noticed that Europeans usually keep their eggs at room temperature. While this way of storing eggs is normal for those living in that part of the world, Americans should avoid doing it because it can have dangerous consequences.
The main difference between eggs in Europe and North America comes down to production practices.
In the United States, before eggs are sent to stores, they are thoroughly cleaned to remove any organic matter that could cause salmonella.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) put this requirement in place since more than 140,000 cases of salmonella poisoning are caused by eggs.
The process involves washing the eggs in hot water as soon as they are laid, then spraying them with chlorine once they have dried.
Since rinsing the eggs washes away the cuticle that keeps pathogens out, the USDA recommends refrigerating them. If left at room temperature, bacteria can easily form and multiply, causing illness when ingested.
However, even if your eggs are always refrigerated, you could still be putting your health at risk depending on which part of the fridge you place them in.
Ironically, you should avoid storing eggs in those plastic egg racks that come with the fridge.
Depending on the model of your appliance, these racks are either built-in or come as inserts, and are often located on the fridge door.
"Egg racks are susceptible to changes in temperature due to the fridge door opening and closing and can cause your eggs to go rotten more quickly," explains Vlatka Lake, storage expert from Space Station.
So which area of the fridge should your eggs be kept in?
The best place to store your eggs so they're safe to consume is on one of the shelves.
If you're worried about them cracking, you can always pick up an egg holder storage box. The boxes are also stackable so they're ideal for those who buy eggs in large quantities.