Producers warn that eggs could be putting us in danger – here’s how to stay safe

Think about the last carton of eggs you bought – were they kept in the fridge, or on the shelf? If

Think about the last carton of eggs you bought – were they kept in the fridge, or on the shelf? If it’s the latter, then egg producers are worried that their products could cause you harm.

Brian Ahmed, president of the egg group at the Victorian Farmers Federation, told Fairfax media that supermarkets and grocery stores were the “missing link” in making sure eggs get safely from the barn door to a person’s plate.

He said that keeping eggs in cold storage in-store was crucial in the prevention of salmonella infection, which can cause serious illness and even death. New data shows that salmonella infection is on the rise, with the summer months being a peak danger period, Fairfax reports. Up to 40 per cent of salmonella infections are caused by eggs.

“It is a priority. We’ve seen lots of outbreaks. We should be doing multiple things to try and prevent salmonella occurring.

“[Eggs] should be treated exactly like raw meat – don’t look at an egg any different way,” he said.

Australian eggs are washed, inspected for cracks, graded and kept in cool rooms on farms before being transported in refrigerated trucks, all in order to reduce the chances of bacteria, which occurs in the faeces of the birds, from surviving.

However, once they reach retail outlets, there’s no rule that says eggs much be stored in the fridge.

While most salmonella outbreaks occur at restaurants and involve raw-egg foods like tiramisu or mayonnaise, a study by the Australian Egg Corporation study found that inappropriate storage in supermarkets and grocers can substantially increase the risk of salmonella with bacterial growth occurring within 10 days in eggs stored at 22 degrees. Eggs typically have a shelf-life of 37 days, meaning the chances of this happening are quite high.

Egg corporation safety

When asked by Fairfax about the practice of storing eggs on the shelf, Coles said, “Coles adheres to all health and safety regulations regarding egg storage.”

Meanwhile, Woolworths is moving all eggs into refrigerated cabinets across all stores. Independent grocers IGA advise franchisees to store eggs below 5 degrees, but could not confirm compliance.

Where did you last buy your eggs from? Were they in the fridge or on the shelf? Will you start buying them from the fridge in light of this warning?


  1. Heidi Torndahl

    In Denmark eggs are kept in the refridgerated box. In Germany I saw eggs standing in the shelf – and I wondered because I’m used to having eggs kept cold… Even at home I never leave eggs out.

  2. Vee Brennan

    I have three healthy adult offspring . Have made thousands of meals, given dinner partie, made cakes for friends and family…have never made anyone ill…and have always kept eggs Out of the frideg. i reckon the world has gone bloody mad. Wrap me in cotton wool please.

      • Adele Ford  

        I think all this fuss about bugs in food, has made the younger generation food phobic and contributes to a lot of wasteage……

    • Zoe Jackson

      Do you know where I can buy a roll of cotton wool? I can only find balls these days.

    • Jan Knighton

      What is it with “don’t eat raw eggs”? I notice on the cake mix boxes it says don’t lick the bowl or spoon because the mix contains raw egg. When we were young my mother gave us kids egg flips every week with raw eggs in them. Never made us sick!

    • Yvonne Day

      In Queensland I buy eggs from the fridge at the supermarket and store them in my refrigerator. The temperatures are far different from the UK, so it is a must here.

    • Lee Horrocks

      Yvonne Day, agree always store in the fridge in QLD. They are in the fridge at Woolworths where I shop.

    • Diane Morgan

      Well we have had very hot weather in North queensland this week. Hot enough to cook an egg in 7 minutes from what I saw on a Utube clip from here. So probably keep them in the fridge here I think!

    • Kaz Stevenhaagen

      Forgot to mention I’m a Queenslander (very proud one) where we can cook eggs on our garden paths . But our supermarkets still have their eggs on shelves.

    • Susie Nell

      Agree absolutely! I won’t buy eggs from supermarkets that store eggs in fridges

  3. Jennifer French

    We have been collecting our own eggs for nearly 50 years and I have NEVER kept an egg in the fridge ,

  4. Joy Boettcher

    Hmm always keep my eggs in fridge, but know people who keep them in a basket on the bench.

  5. Sylvia Jennings

    None of our supermarkets in NZ that I know put their eggs in cool storage…They stack piles of them on normal supermarket shelves

  6. Lynne Clarke Carter

    Woolies, Coles, IGA, all store on shelf where i shop, I put in fridge at home, have never had a problem in my many years of buying them

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