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Do Farm Fresh Eggs Need to be Refrigerated?

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Do Eggs Need to be Refrigerated?

The short answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no. And I’ll explain why you do and don’t need to refrigerate your eggs.

This post has been updated from its original publish date of May 5, 2017.

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Do Eggs Need to be Refrigerated?

This seems to be a common question that I’m asked. Especially on social media.

We raise chickens, ducks, and guineas which provide us with plenty of farm fresh eggs. You know what I do with them after we collect them?


I look them over and if they don’t have a bunch of poo on them or anything wrong with them, I stick them on this egg skelter and then stick them right on my kitchen counter.

I don’t even wash them until right before I am ready to use them. And only if they absolutely need it!

Plus, it helps me keep track of how old each egg is.

eggs stored in an egg skelter on a counter top

Here’s Why You Wouldn’t Need to Refrigerate Your Eggs.

Fresh laid eggs have a protective layer called a bloom which coats the surface of the egg. This bloom seals the egg and helps to prevent bacteria from entering the very porous shell.

Washing eggs would remove the bloom and thus allow for bacteria to enter.

I don’t fear or worry about my eggs being stored on the counter since that protective bloom is keeping the bacteria away.

And I totally dig the look of those farm fresh eggs being stored on my counter in our little farmhouse.

farm fresh eggs in a white egg basket

Here’s Why Eggs Need to be Refrigerated.

Once eggs have been washed and the bloom has been removed, they need to be refrigerated. All commercial eggs need to be washed before being sold.

What is an egg bloom? It is the protective natural coating that creates a vacuum seal. This helps prevent bacteria from getting inside the shell. And this protective bloom also helps prevent moisture loss from the egg. 

The bloom is also to protect potential baby chicks from bacteria during the critical growing stage, giving them a nice clean space.

If an egg has previously been refrigerated, it needs to remain refrigerated. When you buy eggs at the grocery store, they come washed and refrigerated.

chicken in a nesting box

How to Clean Your Eggs?

If you choose to wash your eggs before storing them, you’ll want to ensure that you are doing it in hot water running water. The hot water causes the egg to expand inside of the shell, which helps prevent bad bacteria from entering. 

Take the soiled egg and wipe any yucky spots while running the hot water. And there is no need to use soap, bleach, or vinegar. 

My personal method is to avoid washing farm fresh eggs unless they absolutely need it. I don’t even wash my eggs before cooking them unless they are heavily soiled. 

Did you know that in Europe they don’t wash their eggs before they sell them?

And this article on Dr. Mercola explains more.

“The US is one of the only countries where chicken eggs are kept refrigerated. In much of Europe, for instance, eggs are often stored right on the counter, at room temperature.

But then, US eggs would be illegal in Europe due to an egg-washing process that may actually make them more susceptible to contamination with bacteria like Salmonella.”

eggs in black wire basket

Collecting and Storing Farm Fresh Eggs

My toddlers and I use this nifty little basket to collect eggs. And then it’s stored on our egg skelter right on our counter top.

The white basket that I have pictured above is from Target, but I don’t see it on their website anymore. Here is another similar option

Around here, we eat a lot of eggs. But if for some reason, we couldn’t get through them fast enough, we would move them to a refrigerator for longer storage. 

Say, if it was longer than a week. And according to this, they technically have about 3 weeks for safe keeping.

But that is just my personal preference. We want to ensure that we are also practicing good food safety! Temperature also plays a little role in all of this. 

More egg posts you may like:

What to do with Extra Eggs

How to Hatch Duck Eggs

How do you store your farm fresh eggs?

More Farm Life:


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Wednesday 10th of July 2019

Does it make any difference if the eggs might be fertilized? We have 17 hens and 1 rooster - so on average about 1/3rd of the eggs are fertilized. I tend to eat them or give them away quickly so do not refrigerate the nice clean, unwashed ones. Is that ok?

Mary Woita

Wednesday 17th of July 2019

Yes, totally fine. :)

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Saturday 13th of April 2019

[…] image, is my trusty egg skelter. I love using this for our farm fresh eggs. And since I don’t refrigerate our fresh eggs, this helps me keep track of using oldest […]


Sunday 3rd of February 2019

Thank you for this information! Very clear and easy to understand.

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