Should I Store Eggs Inside or Outside the Fridge?

Should you store eggs inside or outside the fridge? It’s best to refrigerate them. In this article, we’ll explain why.
Should I Store Eggs Inside or Outside the Fridge?
Marta Guzmán

Written and verified by Nutritionist Marta Guzmán.

Last update: 25 May, 2022

Have you ever wondered why eggs are stored at room temperature in the supermarket but people refrigerate them at home? Do you want to know the right way to store eggs?

In this article, we’ll explain this in detail, as well as other aspects to consider to store eggs correctly.

How to store eggs

Eggs are an optimal food for human consumption. According to an article published in the journal Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, they’re the best dietary protein and are rich in essential vitamins and minerals. But you should know the right way to store eggs.

At home, it’s best to store them in the refrigerator, especially during the summer. Also, egg whites are very dense and, as the days go by, small amounts of air enter the interior of the egg, pushing the white and reducing its density.

It’s best to leave the eggs in their carton and on a shelf inside the refrigerator. Many people put them on egg trays. However, this isn’t a good idea, since it’s the area with the greatest temperature variations in the refrigerator.

Leaving the eggs inside the carton protects them from temperature changes, odors, blows, and contact with other foods. Also, the carton comes with an expiration date, which usually isn’t added to eggshells. This is essential, as it allows you to know until what date you should eat them.

A few eggs inside a basket.

So why are they at room temperature in the supermarket?

This is because the eggs don’t require cold, as long as the room temperature is around 77°F. In fact, they shouldn’t be refrigerated in the supermarket, since a sudden temperature change can break the cuticle, which is the thin layer that surrounds the egg under the shell.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to store eggs at a constant temperature. This is easier to accomplish if they’re left at room temperature at the supermarket.

More questions about eggs

How can you tell if an egg is fresh?

One way to assess freshness is by checking the consistency of the egg white. A fresh egg has two well-distinguished areas in the egg white; one more consistent and the other more liquid.

When the egg is fresh, the dense egg white is firmer and gelatinous. The egg loses its firmness as it loses freshness. When it’s difficult to distinguish the two areas, the egg isn’t as fresh.

Another way to evaluate freshness is to put an egg in a glass of water. If it sinks, it means that it has little air and is fresh.

An egg carton.

Is it safe to eat eggs past their expiration date?

You can eat eggs a few days after the “best before” date if you stored them in the fridge and their shell is intact and clean. The “best before” date and the expiration date aren’t the same. Eggs can be considered fresh as long as they:

  • Are well-stored.
  • Maintain their quality and safety.

Should eggs be washed?

Eggs can be washed before consumption but not when you buy them. This is because the water pressure could break the cuticle, thus exposing it to salmonella.

According to a study published in the journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews, this bacterium is capable of causing mild to severe stomach and intestinal problems.

Salmonella infection can occur if you don’t follow good hygiene practices in the kitchen. Therefore, it’s important to:

  • Wash your hands when handling eggs.
  • Clean utensils after handling eggs.
  • Fully cook eggs.
  • Store them in the refrigerator after preparation if you aren’t going to eat them right away.
  • Don’t leave them at room temperature, especially during the summer.

It’s easy to store eggs

It isn’t difficult to keep eggs in good condition. Simply make sure not to wash them and to put them back in the carton without consuming them immediately afterward.

As we explained above, it’s best to store them in the fridge. Nevertheless, they adapt well to many different temperatures and humidity conditions inside the carton.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Estrada, M. M., Galeano, L. F., Herrera, M. R., & Restrepo, L. F. (2010). Efecto de la temperatura y el volteo durante el almacenamiento sobre la calidad del huevo comercial. Revista Colombiana de Ciencias Pecuarias23(2), 183-190.
  • Fernandez, M. L. (2010). Effects of eggs on plasma lipoproteins in healthy populations. Food & function1(2), 156-160.
  • Instituto de estudios del huevo.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.