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Odds and Ends
U.S. eggs are illegal in Britain because they are washed. Br
9 11, 3:58pm
Different strategies to contain salmonella infection. As I understand it:
In the US, the approach is to take no chances - mistrust the supply chain, treat every egg as though it's infected. So eggs are warm-/hot-washed and treated with a chemical sanitizer to remove faecal matter and bacteria. At that point, for the moment, they're largely salmonella-free. BUT. The mandated process destroys the cuticle (the shell's natural outer protective barrier), so the eggs then need to be stored chilled to prevent new or remaining bacteria spreading into the interior.
Which is why (a) you'll find US eggs in the shop chiller compartments, and (b) even then, they don't have a particularly long shelf life.
In the EU (including the UK), the approach is to secure the supply chain and get rid of the salmonella at source. All mass-production poultry flocks are immunised. So there's then basically no need to wash the eggs in the first place, nor to chill them. But when people aren't used to having to store eggs chilled, allowing the sale of washed eggs such as those from the US would substantially increase the risk of mishandling and infection. So we don't.
It's also why Americans and Europeans can never find the eggs when they try to shop in each other's countries.
(Australia confuses matters by washing eggs but not then mandating that they be refrigerated - simply recommending it if you plan to keep them long. Apparently, not all strains of salmonella are equal; some are able to penetrate the shell after washing, some aren't. Those found in Australia, mostly aren't, so they can - broadly - get away with a more relaxed approach. But Oz does also seem to have a significantly higher incidence of human salmonella infections than the EU or US.)