In times like the ones we are living in, this is probably an exercise that you have found yourself doing for no apparent reason.
Do it together with me. Forward, one, two, three, open fridge.
Close fridge. Backwards, two, two, three.
Forward. Three, two, three. Open fridge.
And if you happened to stare at your eggs, you might have asked yourself: Wait a minute, NTUC sells eggs outside the fridge. Why the heck do I put them in the fridge?
Before you start taking out your eggs for more fridge space, you’ll want to know that putting them in the fridge is recommended, and here’s why.
Keeps Them Fresh Longer
Regardless of whether or not you need to, chucking them into the fridge is already better because you can keep them longer.
But there’s another reason why you’ll want to have them in the fridge.
There Might Be Salmonella On Your Eggs
No, this isn’t salmon fish growing out of your eggs. Don’t get excited.
It’s the name of a bacteria which is a common cause of food poisoning. Salmonella can be found in raw meat, poultry, raw unwashed vegetables, unpasteurised milk and dairy products, and in the gut and faeces of animals and humans.
What happens when you ingest it? Vomiting, diarrhoea, and death for children, older people, and those with weaker immune systems.
So why the heck is the name Salmonella so confusing? That’s because it is named after Salmon. And by Salmon, I mean the veterinary surgeon Daniel Elmer Salmon.
You see, his assistant, Theobald Smith, discovered the bacteria. But for some reason, he decided to name it after his chief, Daniel Elmer Salmon instead.
Which means we could have had a name like Baldonella, and instead of people confusing the bacteria with the fish, we could have people confusing the bacteria with balding.
Anyway, bacteria can penetrate into the egg through the eggshell. Which means Salmonella could be found outside the egg or even inside. For example, a hen carrying Salmonella can transfer it to the egg.
Refrigeration Prevents Growth Of Salmonella
Fortunately for us, Salmonella doesn’t grow below 4°C, which is why you’ll want to have them in your fridge.
Cooking eggs to at least 71°C also kills any bacteria present.
Conversely, this means eating raw eggs may cause you to be sick.
Oh shit, then what about my half-boiled egg with kaya toast? Or like the Japanese tamagokake gohan aka raw egg over rice? Will I die from eating them??
Relax. For one, when cooked properly, those shouldn’t be a problem. In the case of tamagokake gohan, it’s supposed to be put over freshly cooked hot rice, which lightly cooks the egg.
And it’s made even safer because of a simple reason.
Different Countries, Different Eggs
If you ever shopped in Don Don Donki, you’ll probably notice that they advertise eggs that can be eaten raw.
And that’s not because it’s so fresh or whatever. It’s because of the different health regulations and procedures in different countries.
Japanese farms are basically the hardcore version since their people incorporate so much raw egg in their diets. Each egg has to be individually washed, sterilised, and checked for imperfections multiple times.
They even have high-tech machines that check for bacteria, and they vaccinate their hens against Salmonella daily.
In Europe, it’s pretty similar. In fact, some European countries don’t even refrigerate their eggs. But keep in mind their climate might be different, so it might not work for you.
In the United States, refrigerating eggs is a must since their washing process may remove the cuticle of the egg, which is a protective layer above the shell that prevents bacteria from entering the egg.
So what about Singapore?
Our eggs go through regular inspections and sampling to check for chemical and microbiological contaminants, including Salmonella.
Can we just eat the raw eggs then? The government doesn’t recommend we go eating raw eggs.
I’m guessing the gahmen don’t want to be responsible for anything in case anything goes wrong, so their recommendation is to put eggs in the refrigerator and cook them properly.
If you come from Japan or somewhere else where raw eggs are a regular thing, you’ll want to note that down.
As for the titular question, don’t think so much and just put them in the fridge lah.