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

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by vaultmom, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. vaultmom

    vaultmom Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    22
    Oct 6, 2009
    Auburn
    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
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    43
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    If you're worried, the simplest solution is to thoroughly cook your granddaughter's eggs and not feed her any raw eggs.
     
  3. Tropical Chook

    Tropical Chook Chillin' With My Peeps

    283
    5
    101
    Jul 5, 2010
    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
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. AllTheseCreatures

    AllTheseCreatures Chillin' With My Peeps

    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.
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    119
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    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.
     
  6. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    Quote: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.
     
  7. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    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.
     
  8. Jasminemb123

    Jasminemb123 New Egg

    3
    0
    6
    Feb 18, 2014
    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
  9. Jasminemb123

    Jasminemb123 New Egg

    3
    0
    6
    Feb 18, 2014
    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
  10. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,725
    244
    218
    May 30, 2007
    Idaho
    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.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by