Am I supposed to wash the eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 8Chicks4Ky, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. 8Chicks4Ky

    8Chicks4Ky Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 26, 2011
    We just started getting eggs (2/day for 3 days now). I've just been putting them straight in an egg carton. But my husband is freaking out that I haven't washed the eggs - with soap and water. He's insistent that the eggs are crawling with bacteria and e.coli and it's disgusting because the eggs come from the chicken's butt. He says that it's the eggshell where the e.coli is because that is the part that was in contact with the butt/interior of the chicken. Please help me.
  2. bjash

    bjash Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 5, 2010
    Moline, MI
    Yes, the outside of the eggs are technically "dirty" but you can wash them any time. We collect ours throughout the week and leave them sit in the egg carton on our countertop until the end of the week, then wash them all at once and put them in the fridge. Our collection egg cartons are our "dirty" cartons. As soon as you wash them (even at the end of the week), all of the bacteria die off. They really can't grow on the egg surface because there really isn't anything for them to live off of on there.

    Remember that eggs can be left out for a couple of months without washing/refrigeration if you don't wash them.
  3. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2009
    I wash them only if there is visible schmutz on them, or if I am going to eat them raw (as in home made mayonnaise or ice cream). If the shell appears clean and I am going to cook them, I don't bother washing because cooking will kill the bacteria.

    I have read that the shell has a natural "bloom" that prevents bacteria from entering the egg. If you wash the egg, you wash off the bloom, making it easier for bacteria to penetrate the shell. Therefore don't wash until you are about to eat them. If they are visibly dirty, you can scratch off dirt/poop with sandpaper.
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If you wash them, as I do for my picky customers, I rub and rinse them under water as hot as I can stand. Don't quote me, but if the water is hot, the bacteria is driven outward, but if the water is cold, the bacteria is driven inward. Well, that's what I understand of the matter, which isn't much. lol

    Anyhow, no soap. Just really hot water and air dry.
  5. florida lee

    florida lee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2011
    I went to a Backyard flock meeting at out local feed store last week.... main speaker was rep from Purina. We learned a lot. Eggs can be washed ( this does remove the natural bloom). wash with water warmer than the egg to prevent bacteria from being pulled thru the shell as FREDS HENS said.
  6. swmalone

    swmalone Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2011
    Northern Utah
    My career is in food safety so I figured I would drop my 2 cents. I honestly don't think there is anything with the hot vs cold driving bacteria into the shell, but there may be some study somewhere. It is extremely rare that you would ever have bacteria inside of the egg. Salmonella is typically the bacteria of concern with eggs and when you hear issues of bacterial contamination due to eggs it is usually because of contamination by the exterior of the shell.

    If you are diligent about how you prepare the eggs you shouldn't have a problem. Personally I collect the eggs in one carton and I wash them right before I use them. If I were selling my eggs I would wash them prior to selling them just to give myself peace of mind in case the customer doesn't wash them or doesn't have the most sanitary kitchen practices.
  7. mother o' chicks72

    mother o' chicks72 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2011
    Portland, Oregon
    washing the eggs will cause them to go bad sooner, I don't wash mine.
  8. 2overeasy000

    2overeasy000 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 1, 2010

    I only wash the ones with some accoutrements. Also, I want to keep the bloom on them.
  9. andrew6d9

    andrew6d9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    you should def. wash them. if you don't then you just get the egg box dirty and put the clean eggs back into a dirty eggbox so i would clean them good.

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