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Is it possible to Pass E. Coli inside the egg?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Can hens pass E.Coli or other bacteria on the inside of the eggs they lay? I had a lady tell me she only gives her chickens treated city water because she did not want her kids to get sick from the eggs that could get contaminated on the inside by dirty water.  I have never heard this.  Yes on the outside of the egg shell -- which is why we wash our eggs--but can it get inside of an undamaged egg?  My chickens have always drank from an auto-water dish that is filled from our pond which we irrigate out of.  We have never gotten sick.  I also have seen my chicken drink from puddles when it rains & of course there are bacteria in the puddles--they are in the middle of the chicken yard.  Anyone know the answer to this?  I have a baby granddaughter now & would not want her to get sick. Thanks


Edited by vaultmom - 8/19/10 at 12:13am
Home to 4 chicken & duck loving dogs, 4 cats, 2 roosters, 13 laying hens, 6 laying ducks, varying numbers of chicks, duckings, keets and 29 horses...there is always room for just one more.....
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Home to 4 chicken & duck loving dogs, 4 cats, 2 roosters, 13 laying hens, 6 laying ducks, varying numbers of chicks, duckings, keets and 29 horses...there is always room for just one more.....
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post #2 of 10

If you're worried, the simplest solution is to thoroughly cook your granddaughter's eggs and not feed her any raw eggs.

post #3 of 10

First up.......no, eggs have a natural coating to prevent such things from happening. Secondly, people have been eating chicken eggs for thousands of years, and certainly since before municipal water was even available. If anything, I'd be more concerned about eating eggs from chickens raised on tap water. Trust me, you'd be surprised if you had you local tap water tested. As you've said yourself, you never had any problems in the past. Also, if non-tap water was so deadly, chickens and birds in general would be extinct by now.

TC

post #4 of 10

Any pathogen present in a hens ovary or oviduct is likely to be present inside an egg.  Salmonella CAN pass through the shell of a heavily soiled egg.  Your body can handle a small dose of pathogens from a food source and does so constantly, every day.  Large colonies of pathogens from soiled or contaminated food will surely make you sick. 

We don't eat raw eggs.  My eggs are probably "cleaner" than grocery store eggs, but we still don't eat them undercooked.

But I don't think just using city water alone will prevent E. coli infection alone (but it can't hurt) since chickens peck at pretty much anything on the ground and soil is an amazing world or microscopic organisms.

Practice safe food handling procedures, keep you flock healthy and I'm sure you will be fine.

post #5 of 10

To me it's interesting that folks are suddenly very interested about the e.coli thing.  Everyone's body has a small amount of e.coli in it, that we handle just fine.
I know this because in 2007 my DH nearly died from a e.coli infection.  He was doing just fine with the small amount of e.coli in his system (that everyone has) until one of his gallbladder ducts got blocked up with a gallstone, allowing the e.coli to multiply out of control.  Once the gallstone shifted, the e.coli was released into his bloodstream and within 24 hrs. had wrecked havoc with his organs - heart, liver, kidneys and brain. 
Doing what AllTheseCreatures suggested - practice safe food handling procedures - and you shouldn't have any problems at all. 
My adult birds drink either well water or the city water, depending on which is closer and handy at the time I need it.

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people. 

A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, runner ducks, call ducks, two geese that are my feathered children, and a crossbeak silkie X named Dragon. 

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If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people. 

A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, runner ducks, call ducks, two geese that are my feathered children, and a crossbeak silkie X named Dragon. 

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post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tropical Chook 

First up.......no, eggs have a natural coating to prevent such things from happening. Secondly, people have been eating chicken eggs for thousands of years, and certainly since before municipal water was even available. If anything, I'd be more concerned about eating eggs from chickens raised on tap water. Trust me, you'd be surprised if you had you local tap water tested. As you've said yourself, you never had any problems in the past. Also, if non-tap water was so deadly, chickens and birds in general would be extinct by now.

TC


2 weeks ago I would have agreed with you 110%.  But on the news I have heard that the 380 million eggs just recalled, the inside of the egg is where the germs are.  Strange to me, but they are the experts.

post #7 of 10

The chicken's body naturally fights down the amount of bacteria, the same as ours does.

I recently had a pullet necropsied, after she had been dead in the heat for several hours. The level of E coli in her ovaries was 3 on a scale of 1 to 4 but the vet himself noted that it was probably due to EXPECTED post mortem overgrowth in the heat, and not something I need to be conerned about. I get the impression that chickens are fairly succeptable to bacterial infections, so I would think the level that a hen can handle and possibly pass on would be pretty small compared to the level that a healthy human could handle. Plus we cook the eggs.

One thing is for sure. The price of a dead hen is a dead pred.
Trapping the trap-savvy raccoon
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One thing is for sure. The price of a dead hen is a dead pred.
Trapping the trap-savvy raccoon
Reply
post #8 of 10

The E. coli  we are worried about are particular strains not normally present in our bodies, like 0157:H7, which may be present in contaminated food and can be harmful in small numbers. Of course, problems can be largely prevented by proper food handling and thorough cooking (raw eggs should be handled like you would raw meat). We also have other E. coli strains living in our bodies that are harmless in their small numbers, and may be helpful to us. If these harmless strains are allowed to multiply out of control, as you explained, they could create problems.


Edited by Jasminemb123 - 2/18/14 at 9:29am
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by gritsar View Post
 

To me it's interesting that folks are suddenly very interested about the e.coli thing.  Everyone's body has a small amount of e.coli in it, that we handle just fine.
I know this because in 2007 my DH nearly died from a e.coli infection.  He was doing just fine with the small amount of e.coli in his system (that everyone has) until one of his gallbladder ducts got blocked up with a gallstone, allowing the e.coli to multiply out of control.  Once the gallstone shifted, the e.coli was released into his bloodstream and within 24 hrs. had wrecked havoc with his organs - heart, liver, kidneys and brain. 
Doing what AllTheseCreatures suggested - practice safe food handling procedures - and you shouldn't have any problems at all. 
My adult birds drink either well water or the city water, depending on which is closer and handy at the time I need it.

The E. coli  we are worried about are particular strains not normally in our bodies, like 0157:H7, which may be present in contaminated food and can be harmful in small numbers. Of course, problems can be largely prevented by proper food handling and thorough cooking (raw eggs should be handled like you would raw meat). We also have other E. coli strains living in our bodies that are harmless in their small numbers, and may be helpful to us. If these harmless strains are allowed to multiply out of control, as you explained, they could create problems.


Edited by Jasminemb123 - 2/18/14 at 9:31am
post #10 of 10

City water is often more unhealthy to drink than well water. What concerns me more than what comes out of the faucet is the water quality that ultimately goes into the chicken. Heavy bacterial loads are likely present in water that has been soiled by chicken waste, for example. 

Black Copper Marans - Golden Cuckoo Marans - Black Tail Buff Marans - BBS Orpingtons - Jubilee Orpingtons - Bantam Cochins - Muscovy Ducks - Quail - Midget White Turkeys - QCU Poultry Drinkers / Feeders
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Black Copper Marans - Golden Cuckoo Marans - Black Tail Buff Marans - BBS Orpingtons - Jubilee Orpingtons - Bantam Cochins - Muscovy Ducks - Quail - Midget White Turkeys - QCU Poultry Drinkers / Feeders
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