Eggs are eaten all over the world because this is one type of food which is packed with all the essential nutrients you need to function and grow properly. An egg, in fact, is a powerhouse of nutrition - it is packed with protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Sure, some nutritionists recommend limiting the consumption of eggs to three eggs per week. This is because a single egg yolk contains over 200 mg of dietary cholesterol - scientists are still divided on whether this causes cardiovascular diseases or not. (Read more: Do eggs increase the risk of heart disease or stroke?)

Despite this, the consumption of whole eggs is considered to be healthy by most medical professionals. Consider the other nutritional benefits of egg yolks: they are rich in vitamin Avitamin Bvitamin Dvitamin E, calcium, phosphorus and potassium, among other micro and macronutrients.

This is also one of the reasons why most nations have strict guidelines about the storage and safety of eggs. Remember that though eggs are a relatively cheap source of animal protein and you can stock them up, storing them properly is of the utmost importance. Refrigerating eggs is considered to be one of the safest methods of preserving eggs.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC recommends that eggs be refrigerated at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or 4 degrees Celsius. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) also recommends that cold storage is necessary for eggs, and they should not be kept at room temperature as this can change the smell, texture and appearance of the eggs.

  1. What can happen if you don't store eggs properly
  2. How to store eggs in the refrigerator
  3. How long do eggs last in the fridge?

A number of issues can occur if eggs are not refrigerated properly or stored in cold temperatures. The following are some of the side effects of not storing eggs in a refrigerator properly:

  • According to the FSSAI, eggs can lose as much quality in one day at room temperature as in four to five days in the refrigerator. If you’re eating eggs for their nutritional value, storing them at a colder temperature is vital to maintain their nutritional integrity for longer.
  • Salmonella infection occurs when Salmonella bacteria contaminate food products. Eggs can be contaminated with Salmonella either through the eggshell or if the chicken that laid the egg had the infection. Storing the eggs in a refrigerator can destroy Salmonella and prevent its contamination.
  • Excess heat or fluctuating temperatures, especially in countries like India in the summer months, can reduce the shelf life of eggs and allow rotting to happen quickly. This can also lead to a number of infections, and cause food poisoning.
  • Like all proteins, storing eggs with other products can lead to cross-contamination. This is why eggs should be kept in the cartons they came in, and placed on a separate shelf instead of the refrigerator door.
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Storing eggs properly in the refrigerator is important to maintain the nutrient balance of the eggs and to ensure there is no cross-contamination within the refrigerator. To store eggs properly in the refrigerator, you need to follow these steps:

  • Keep the eggs in the carton they came in, or a separate carton or box.
  • Put the eggs in the refrigerator within two hours of buying the eggs.
  • Do not store the eggs in the refrigerator door. The temperature in the door fluctuates, and this can spoil the eggs.
  • Store the eggs in the top or middle shelves. 
  • Most store-bought, pre-packed eggs go through a washing process that cleans the bacteria on the surface of the eggshells. However, if you’re buying eggs from a local vendor, do wash them before storing or using.

The longer an egg is stored, the more its nutrient value and texture declines. Eggs that are stored for a longer time turn runny and pale. They might even dry up inside and become completely useless. 

However, if you refrigerate eggs properly at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (or 4 degrees Celsius) or below, they are unlikely to spoil for three to five weeks.

This is because the bacteria on the eggshell and within the eggs cannot grow at these temperatures. If you’ve refrigerated the eggs, then make sure that you cook them immediately after taking them out of the refrigerator and don’t let them sit at room temperature. This can lead to condensation on the egg’s surface, and cause bacterial growth and bacterial infections.

If you’re storing cooked eggs in the refrigerator, remember that hard-boiled eggs go bad soonest, so do not refrigerate them for more than a day, even if they are in an egg curry form. Because cooked food is more prone to bacterial growth even inside a clean refrigerator, it’s best not to store cooked eggs in the refrigerator for more than a day.


  1. Australian Eggs [Internet] Sydney. Australia; HANDLING AND STORING EGGS
  2. National Health Service [Internet]. Hertfordshire. UK; How to store food and leftovers
  3. Koppel, Kadri. et al. Eggs and Poultry Purchase, Storage, and Preparation Practices of Consumers in Selected Asian Countries. Foods. 2014 Mar; 3(1): 110–127. PMID: 28234307
  4. Liu, Yu-Chi. et al. Effects of Egg Washing and Storage Temperature on the Quality of Eggshell Cuticle and Eggs. Food Chem , 211, 687-93. PMID: 27283684
  5. Rehault-Godbert, Sophie. et al. The Golden Egg: Nutritional Value, Bioactivities, and Emerging Benefits for Human Health. Nutrients. 2019 Mar; 11(3): 684. PMID: 30909449
  6. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India [Internet]. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Government of India. New Delhi. India; Egg Quality and Safety
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