I remember a few years ago I came across an article of why we have to refrigerate our store-bought eggs. I talked to my mother about this as she used to have chickens growing up in the Philippines. I asked her if they ever refrigerated their eggs, they did not. When a hen lays an egg, the egg has a natural protective covering called the ‘bloom’ which seals the egg from harmful bacteria. In the situation of most store-bought eggs, the laying hen is kept in unclean living conditions and the eggs are washed and often bleached so that buyers can take home a more visually appealing egg.
I don’t wash my eggs after collecting them from the coop. The most I’ll do is brush them off with a paper towel, but I will rinse them well before cracking them open to cook. Because of the bloom, farm fresh eggs are good on the counter for a month or longer. I date each of my eggs with the day I collected them. You can absolutely still refrigerate these eggs, but do not put them back on the counter after doing so. Moving your refrigerated eggs back to room temperature will cause them to ‘sweat’ and possibly introduce bacteria into the egg.
A concern I’ve been hearing from friends and family is ‘how do you know the egg is still good?’. Many of us are used to eating our eggs based on the date written on the store-bought egg carton. With farm fresh eggs, you don’t get a ‘use-by’ date on your carton. A great way to check if your eggs are still good to eat is by using the water test. This is best done when you are planning to cook your eggs, as the water will wash off that protective bloom.
What you will need is a large glass/jar of water (one that will fit your egg, of course). All you do is gently place your egg inside and watch to see if it floats. I found a great visual here with the help of google:
You can also see videos of how this is done on Youtube, of course. I like to crack each egg in a separate bowl before adding them all to the frying pan or mixing bowl. This way I can check each individual egg for freshness without contaminating any other egg, just in case.
So that’s it! TL;DR: You don’t have to refrigerate your eggs, they’re good on the counter for a month. Do the water test if you want to make sure they’re still fresh. Wash the eggs before you crack them open. Happy eating!