American eggs are federally required to be washed and sanitized and then refrigerated. There are a few reasons for this, but the main reason is that our factory farms are disgusting. In Europe, eggs sold in supermarkets are not legally allowed to be washed.
I live in Mexico and one of the first things I noticed at the grocery stores here is that they do not refrigerate the eggs. They’re sold on a shelf with dry goods generally, like sugar or canned milk products. There are many options from tiny spotted ones to big brown ones, but they’re unwashed and unchilled. – Lily Da Vine
The FDA states that eggs must be sterilized and chilled to reduce the likelihood of salmonella infections. Much of the world focuses on, and/or legislated to place emphasis on, producing cleaner eggs. American chicken factories, on the other hand, are legendarily filthy, and we don’t seem motivated to change that.
Abysmal factory farming conditions are what create the problematic salmonella superbug (the same is true for eColi). Eggs become contaminated with salmonella in one of two ways, by either contaminating the egg internally upon production (due to a chicken with infected ovaries), or when the egg becomes in contact with contaminated chicken manure, and salmonella sticks to the porous shell.
So the United States, in typical fashion, has decided that instead of regulating the farms to produce healthier food, we need to wash, sanitize, and cook our eggs. If you like raw eggs, be sure they aren’t factory farmed, and especially not American factory-farmed!
So what about real farm fresh eggs from a healthy farm where the eggs have room to run around, and they all get a healthy natural diet? Those eggs should be gently cleaned off, but not washed or made wet. There is a protective coating around the eggs that you want to preserve. If the eggs do get washed they should then be refrigerated or used shortly thereafter.
If you can’t produce your own eggs try finding a local farmer who does not wash or chill their eggs, and simply leaves them on the counter when you get home. Wash them just before you use them (if you want).
Other Common Egg Questions: Shell and Yolk Color
The color of the yolks are determined by diet and the freshness of the egg. Hens that get a variety of foods including lots of plants, alfalfa, bugs, for instance, are healthier than hens that have a restricted diet. Healthy chickens have a darker yellow-orange yolk. Factory farmed chickens in the United States typically have diets of wheat, barley, or white corn which produces pale yellow yolks.
Shells are different colors because different chickens lay different eggs.
…egg color is determined by the genetics of the hens. The breed of the hen will indicate what color eggs she will produce. For example, Leghorn chickens lay white eggs while Orpington’s lay brown eggs and Ameraucana produce blue eggs. An Olive Egger, a chicken that lays olive green eggs, is the product of a cross between a hen and rooster that are from a brown egg and a blue egg laying breed. An interesting tip is to look at the chicken’s ear lobes; typically those with white ear lobes produce white eggs.” – Michigan State
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- Why American Eggs Would Be Illegal In A British Supermarket, And Vice Versa – Forbes
- Why Are Some Egg Yolks and Eggshells Different Colors? – Food and Nutrition