Cleaning eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by feldon, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. feldon

    feldon In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2007
    Everson WA
    How long can an egg be considered fresh if it has been wiped clean? I live in the rainy Pacific NW & have free ranging hens. Nine times out of ten my new laid eggs have muddy shells. Some of my customers have complained about 'dirty eggs'. I have explained about the protective coating. If I wipe them clean, how long before they would be inedible?
  2. horsewishr

    horsewishr Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    I would say an absolute minimum of eight weeks. But I'm certain it's MUCH longer.

    Commercially produced eggs are washed. I believe they are routinely held for 2 weeks before packing. The "sell by" date is 30 days beyond the pack date. And certainly store-bought eggs are good for at least a few weeks beyond the sell-by date.

    And this is for Grade A eggs--those meant for direct consumption. Grade B eggs (sold to commerical food makers and bakers) can be even older.

    So while the egg might not be optimally fresh at 60 days, I'm sure it's edible.
  3. Charlie Chicken

    Charlie Chicken Songster

    Dec 24, 2007
    Phippsburg, ME
    Commercial egg producers wash their eggs for a reason. If they were to attempt to sell dirty eggs they would soon be out of business. More important than just providing the customer with a clean looking product, eggs are washed to remove the bacteria from the shell which will penetrate to the inside during storage.

    The theory that the natural protective coating on an egg shell should be maintained should not be given much consideration unless the shell is 100 percent perfectly clean. Leaving that protective coating on a dirty egg will accomplish exactly the opposite of maintaining egg quality in storage.

    The dreaded Salmonella bacteria, which can cause food poisoning can be avoided by thoroughly washing eggs. Eggs that are washed in hot water and kept refrigerated will keep for a month or two with no problem.
  4. Princessferf

    Princessferf In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2007
    So what do most people do? Wash them off or leave them "as-is"?

    Sometimes there's even a bit of droppings on the eggs when I collect them. Is it best to wash them off or just leave it as is?
  5. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    If there's just a little poo I wipe it off with a very warm paper towel......if there's a lot, my cats get a treat!
  6. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    I first try to remove it with a dry brush, if that doesn't work then a quickly under hot water for a little more scrubbing, localized to the area that needs it. I let them air dry on a paper towel before they go into the fridge.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: