The practice of most American households is to refrigerate eggs after they’ve purchased them. It’s so common that it’s strange to think that other places around the world choose to keep their eggs at room temperature. If taken care of correctly, both methods are safe—so what’s the difference?
NPR looked into the matter and found that the decision to refrigerate or not to refrigerate eggs comes down to that specific country’s method of preventing salmonella contamination. For instance, in European countries, residents prefer to keep their eggs at room temperature.
That’s because they vaccinate their female chickens which helps prevent them from ever having the disease, meaning they can’t spread it. On the other hand, American and other countries like Japan do not vaccinate their chickens. In order to limit the chance of the disease spreading, they require that all eggs get washed and refrigerated.