The Europeans, on the other hand, don't wash their eggs in order to rely on this natural “cuticle” to protect from contamination entering the egg. Many European countries, like the UK, vaccinate their hens to prevent the transmission of salmonella when the hens lay eggs.
Most other countries do not wash their eggs. They put a higher priority on the cuticle, since it naturally keeps the egg safe from salmonella. By not removing the cuticle, it also eliminates the need to refrigerate the eggs after they have been laid.
Husbandry and hygiene practices in Europe
In Europe, it is unlawful to wash eggs because this process is believed to damage an outside layer of the egg shell known as the cuticle, making it easier for bacteria to penetrate the inside of an egg.
Egg washing is not required in Australia, but sale of dirty eggs is prohibited by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). Storing washed eggs below 7°C can help reduce the ability of Salmonella to grow.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand's Response
The statement continues to say that refrigerating whole eggs is not required because: The Salmonella bacteria which can contaminate an egg while it's inside the bird isn't present in Australian eggs.
Refrigerated eggs should not be left out for more than two hours. What's the best way to store eggs? The best way to keep eggs is to store them in their original carton in the refrigerator as soon as possible after purchase. Cartons reduce water loss and protect flavours from other foods being absorbed into the eggs.
Numerous factors are contributing to the shortage, but essentially it is a case of demand outstripping supply. According to Egg Farmers of Australia, in recent years the industry has been impacted by a range of issues including bushfires, floods, droughts, a mice plague, COVID-19 impacts and increased production costs.
In fact, most eggs start out white, but different breeds are genetically coded to release different colored pigments as the egg passes through the hen's oviduct. Voilà! You have different colored eggs. Just like when you dye Easter eggs, the pigment doesn't penetrate the shell.
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.
Japanese Eggs That Are Safe to Eat Raw
But how can you inspect inside an egg without breaking the shell? In Japan, a highly advanced machine takes care of the whole process automatically: cleaning the eggs, checking them for quality, sorting them for size, and finally packaging them and sealing the carton.
Most people will still put them in the fridge at home, but because in Germany and most of Europe eggs are not washed and sterilized, unlike in the US and Canada, whereby the protective layer on the outside can be damaged, eggs don't HAVE to be refrigerated so the store sells them on the shelf.
Unwashed eggs can sit on your kitchen counter at room temperature for a couple of weeks and they'll still be edible. But once they've touched water, they need to be refrigerated. Store-bought eggs have been cleaned so they need to go in the fridge.
From what I've gathered, eggs are farmed and processed differently in the UK than they are in the US. In the UK, eggs aren't washed before they hit the shelves. When eggs are washed, it makes it easier for bacteria such as salmonella to seep in, which is why cool refrigerator temperatures are necessary for US eggs.
Unwashed eggs have a protective layer called a cuticle (also referred to as the bloom) and can be stored on the counter. This protective coating works by sealing the shell's pores and preventing air from penetrating it, helping to keep bacteria out.
Fresh eggs, even those with clean, uncracked shells, may contain bacteria called Salmonella that can cause foodborne illness, often called “food poisoning.” FDA has put regulations in place to help prevent contamination of eggs on the farm and during shipping and storage, but consumers also play a key role in ...
The most distinctive characteristic is the use of “raw” eggs. Compared to other countries, eggs in Japan are considered to be much less contaminated by salmonella, one of the causes of food poisoning, and therefore raw eggs can be eaten without worry.
Without the cuticle, eggs must be refrigerated to combat bacterial infection from inside. In Europe, it's illegal to wash eggs and instead, farms vaccinate chickens against salmonella. With the cuticle intact, refrigeration could cause mildew growth and contamination.
Canadian food safety regulations require eggs to be washed and graded if they are sold at a location off the farm such as a store or farmers' market.
By leaving your eggs unwashed, the natural barrier remains intact. Commercial egg producers are regulated and required to wash all eggs before shipment, which is why the eggs you buy in the supermarket are so tidy.
If you think a bright yellow or orange egg yolk is a sign of a healthy well-cared for chicken think again. Most eggs sold in Australia now have their yolks artificially brightened by manufactured additive food dyes placed into the chook's feed pellets.
Hens with white feathers and white ear lobes lay white eggs; hens with red feathers and red ear lobes lay brown eggs.
British authorities actually discourage refrigerating eggs on the theory that chilling and then warming could create condensation, which would allow salmonella to penetrate the shell.
According to eggs.org.au (best domain name ever), the cartons we see on the shelves of Australian supermarkets contain eggs that were laid up to 42 days ago. That's six weeks. All we have to go by, traditionally, is the 'use-by' date. Or the even more confusing 'best before'.
Eggs are a healthy, nutritious part of many Australians' diet, but they are a potentially hazardous raw food so should be stored and handled like raw meat and chicken, to reduce the risk of illness.
The shortage has been the result of fluctuating demand for product during the pandemic, supply chain disruptions impacting the movement of goods across Australia and extreme weather conditions.