Costa Rica eggs not refrigerated? Porqué?

When I take new clients around to see the sites and the many great offerings in the Playa Hermosa area of Costa Rica, I always get this question all time when I take them to the grocery stores; “How come the eggs are not refrigerated?”

Most expats from Canada and the United States are brain washed in to finding their favorite breakfast item in the refrigerated section of the grocery store along with cheese, milk, yogurt and a whole bunch more. However, most of the world, including Costa Rica, doesn’t refrigerate their eggs. Now don’t get sick on me, let me continue. Both washed and unwashed eggs are safe to eat, as well as unrefrigerated eggs as long as they have been handled properly. That’s the KEY handled properly!!

Eggs in Costa Rica Stores

The main concern with proper handling of eggs has to do with avoiding salmonella and we all know what nasty things can happen when you get a dose of it and I won’t go into it.

The United States is one of the few countries that washes and refrigerates its eggs to deal with salmonella. One of the other main reasons is so that manufactures or farmers can get a few extra days shelf life out of the product they are selling. When a chicken lays its eggs they have their own natural protective coating, but the process of washing them removes this first line of defense, making the shells more porous. It comes down to trying to make the eggs look more appealing or clean, this process actually increases the risk for salmonella passing into the eggs, hence why they have to stay refrigerated until they are used. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), washed eggs should be kept at temperatures no higher than 45 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the supply chain.

In Latin America and many other countries worldwide, there is no wet washing process, the eggs are cleaned while dry, and transported at room temperature. If the eggs stay dry, they keep their natural protection against pathogens.

In Costa Rica eggs are required to be stored in clean, dry areas, and transported at room temperature out of extreme heat. Any eggs that are wet, broken, or, in the case of any producers who do wash their eggs, if unrefrigerated for any period of time after washing, are prohibited from sale. Fresh eggs as a whole only have a 20 day shelf life. I bet you may have eggs in your frig longer than that?

Personally I purchase my eggs from a farmer up in the mountains. He makes weekly runs down to the beach area and to be honest with you his eggs are better than any I have ever had in the US or for that matter even here in Costa Rica that I bought in a store. His eggs come from true free range hens and are the best I have ever had. Eggs like any protein are very perishable so as soon as I get them from Herbert I put them in the refrigerator anyway. I have never had a bad egg yet nor have I even gotten sick from eating his eggs.

Costa Rica Free range Chicken

Hens that already have salmonella can pass the bacteria into the yolks of their eggs, even if the shell is in good condition and the eggs are properly handled.  So do not ever eat raw eggs! After doing some research for this article I found out that the FDA and the Costa Rican Nutrition and Health Research Institute (INCIENSA), recommended cooking eggs through and keeping all egg-based dishes refrigerated. They also recommend that during food preparation, whether home or professionally, avoid cracking eggs on the lip of the container you are using to avoid any pathogens transferring from the outside of the shell into the food being prepared. So when you baking that surprise birthday cake for your loved one, don’t use the egg shell to separate the whites from the yolk.

Just remember, so long as the eggs are fresh and handled the right way, you should have no worries buying unrefrigerated eggs in Costa Rica! I will take mine over easy please!

Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Tons of Fun!

From surfing to canopy zip line tours, howler monkeys to luxurious spas, spectacular water falls to sunset cruises. Now that the low season is here there are many good deals to be had. Here is my list of what not to miss when you visit Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

Playa Del Coco – The closest happening beach town to the Liberia International Airport, in the Guanacaste Region. Coco as it is called for short by many locals and expats offer many restaurants, nightlife, casino and beach scenes that draw travelers and locals looking for fun in the sun.

Boardwalk

Sport Fishing – In Costa Rica it is legendary, and many fishing charters operate from Playa del Coco and many of the other beach towns along the coast in Guanacaste.

foto 4

Sunset Ocean Cruise A great way to enjoy the ocean breezes, coastline scenery and sunsets over the Pacific, is on a sailing excursion with a stop or two for snorkeling. Some sailing trips visit deserted beaches or linger at sea watching whales and schools of dolphins as the pass by.

Fun in the Costa Rica Sun

Santa Rosa National Park – For travelers who want to get away from it all, the beaches of Santa Rosa National Park are the place to go. In fact, the only time it gets crowded here is in the fall, when thousands of sea turtles storm the beach to lay eggs. This park teems with flora and fauna in immense forests that give way to virgin white-sand beaches.  Be warned it is not an easy trek but worth it if your adventurous.

Santa Rosa National Park Costa Rica

Rincon de la Vieja National Park – Only 1 hour and 20 minutes from Playa Hermosa, this bountiful parkland is famous for its volcanic craters, diverse wild life, thermal mud pots, lush vegetation and hidden waterfalls. Keep your eyes open and you will see some amazing animals.

rincon de la vieja National Park

Adventure Tours– Take a zip line tour through the canopy or go horseback riding to towering waterfalls, take a tubing run down a river and hang out and relax in nature’s natural hot tub, the thermal springs from the volcano. My recommendation is to visit Hacienda Guachipelin at the base of the Parque Nacional Rincon de la Vieja

Hacienda Guachepelin River Tubing

Palo Verde National Park – This is a must-see for all bird-watchers.  Palo Verde National Park is one of Costa Rica’s best-kept secrets. The Tempisque River lowlands are the place where of thousands of waterfowl and forest bird species abound. Best way to view this wonderful location is by boat, there are many operators that you can choice from. Be ready with your camera as you will see howler monkeys, scarlet macaws and crocodiles.

barra Honda National Park

Barra Honda National Park – This is not for the week at heart. Close to Palo Verde, this underground national park features limestone caves that were part of a coral reef millions of years ago. Strap on a headlamp and climbing gear and descend into an underworld filled with dazzling stalactite and stalagmite formations.

Palo Verdr National Park

River Tours – Take a rafting tour of the exciting rapids of the Tenorio River, again there are many tour operators that can line this up for you. For those that want it a bit calmer, the Corobici River is excellent for families looking to float down a gorgeous jungle river, surrounded by nature and wildlife.

River Rafting Costa Rica

Surfing If you are interested in and always wanted to surf, there is no better place than going to Tamarindo.  The Surf break is perfect for the beginner and the experience, with many options of for instructions and rentals. Tamarindo is also a hoping mecca of great restaurant, clubs and shopping. Head a Bit further south and there are many great surfing beaches without the crowds. Playa del Coco has no surf; however it is a prime jumping-off point for boat trips for surfers that want to head to the popular surf breaks of Witches Rock and Ollie’s Point.

surfing Tamarindo

World Class Spas – Many of Guanacaste’s world-class spas are located along the beachfront. After all these exciting outdoor adventures, soothe tired muscles with a massage, while watching a glorious sunset over the Pacific.

Spa

For the Do It Yourself person you can find all these location on line. For those that would rather have a tour guide, feel free to contact me and I will give you recommendations of my favorite tour operator that will treat you like gold.

Playa Hermosa’s Blue Flag Ceremony

Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste is one of the most beautiful beaches on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.  I tend to be a bit biased as I have lived in this paradise for 8 years now.

The town has for many years worked hard to keep the beach clean and beautiful and it pays off.  If not for the great people of the Playa Hermosa association who dedicate their time, effort and hard work it would never be this way. Playa Hermosa was recognized, by the Costa Rica Blue Flag Ecological Program (Bandera Azul Ecológica) for a 14th straight year and achieving 2 stars this year. Below is a press release from the organization and below that a great blog explaining the Blue Flag program:

http://playahermosabeach.org/ecological-blue-flag-2015-bandera-azul-ecologica-2015/ 

http://blog.natureair.com/index.php/2013/07/what-is-costa-ricas-blue-flag-program/

Enjoy the reading, enjoy the beach and let’s share a cold drink when you come to my part of paradise. Looking forward to seeing you here!

blue flag