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Why are American eggs illegal in the UK?

  Why are American eggs illegal in the UK?

  You’re probably about to cook the contents,” A lot of classic egg recipes/preparations involve runny or partially-cooked eggs. These are still popular in the US, but they’re fading away because of the risk.

“which will kill any tiny amount of bacteria that might make it off the shell and in to the pan.”

a) The bacteria get through the unprotected shell and into the egg (this was mentioned and you missed it).

b) Bacteria also produce enterotoxins that can survive cooking, even if the bacteria do not (I mean real toxins, not new-age hippie “toxins”). These toxins are a major source of food poisoning, and why you can’t just cook spoiled meat into safety.

The short answer is because the EU banned them. The different storage conditions are a result of the way that eggs are farmed and processed in the US compared with in the UK and other European nations.

Europe takes a different approach to prevent salmonella contamination. Eggs are not washed and therefore are not required to be chilled, since the "priority in egg production is to produce clean eggs at the point of collection, rather than trying to clean them afterwards,"  This is done through "good management and hygiene of the poultry house," authorities say.”

In summary, EU eggs are considered to be clean at source. While US eggs is dirty at source due to the conditions of the farm, and hence needs to be washed.

Their chickens are also washed in chlorine for similar reasons.

Because to them, is profits above all considerations, such as conditions of chickens or well being of consumers.

The long answer is because they have a drastically increased chance of making you severely ill.

In Europe, eggs are not refrigerated, and when you buy them you can see that they are slightly shiny.

In the US, eggs are refrigerated, and they are matt (and always seem to be perfectly white, though that’s a separate thing).

The reason US eggs are refrigerated and matt is because they go through a chemical and mechanical cleaning process before they hit the shelves. European eggs will sometime have a feather or piece of straw stuck to them, but Americans think that’s gross so American supermarkets insist the eggs are cleaned.

Edit: As if to prove my point, I got these this week from the supermarket.


The problem is that the shiny surface I mentioned is a natural varnish which stops bacteria from penetrating the egg shell. Remember that eggs sit in the warm underneath their mother for weeks- they’d need to evolve a method of ensuring the egg can’t be infected. The varnish is that method.

Leave the varnish on and an egg can remain fresh for around a month without being refrigerated. But when you wash the eggs, you scrub the varnish off. Now bacteria can penetrate the shell, so now the eggs have to be refrigerated, otherwise they go bad.

The journey from the US to the EU is long, with plenty of opportunities to break the refrigeration chain, and the second that chain is broken the consumer is in danger. Just because the egg is refrigerated when you buy it doesn’t mean it’s been refrigerated every second all the way from the producer.

In the EU, it’s illegal to scrub eggs in a manner that removes the cuticle (the varnish). It’s also a legal requirement in many EU countries, and standard practice in even more, that chickens be vaccinated against salmonella, which is not required or widely done in the US.

So the EU banned them. Quite sensibly, in my opinion. I’d rather have straw on my eggs than food poisoning.

EDIT: I appreciate all the attention this post has received, but despite my comment below I’m still getting a lot of edit suggestions attempting to correct something which is not actually a mistake- in British English, we really do spell it ‘matt’, without an ‘e’.

Picture Source Google

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