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#88887 - 04/09/10 07:39 AM How to Correctly Wash Eggs
Saraa Offline
New Egg

Registered: 08/24/08
Posts: 9
Loc: Minnesota
Can anyone tell me the best and safest way to wash chicken eggs? I'm a bit grossed out by our eggs because they sometimes have a little poop on them. I read that washing them incorrectly can let bacteria into the egg. So I want clean eggs, but I don't want bacteria in my eggs!

And advice is appreciated.

Sara

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#88889 - 04/09/10 09:17 AM Re: How to correctly wash eggs [Re: Saraa]
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8445
Loc: Montana
Water warmer than the egg is the important thing. After that, it is up to you: detergent, just warm water, other disinfectants? Egg shells are porous but have their own pressure within, and cold water can penetrate, warmer water will not (we are told).

I scrape off any poop when collecting eggs. (Several hens always lose a bit when the egg is laid. It's just their system's way.) I know those hens. Most eggs are clean and lovely, and I seldom wash an egg. But I crack them carefully so contents do not spill over the shell. Not to worry--a cooked egg can do no harm. CJR

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#88890 - 04/09/10 09:17 AM Re: How to Correctly Wash Eggs [Re: Saraa]
Rhea Dean Carter Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/24/03
Posts: 1379
Loc: Tennessee
I wash mine with really warm tap water. When I was selling eggs for a friend of mine, I would add some bleach to the water and then rinse them with very warm clean water.
_________________________
Rhea Dean

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#88898 - 04/09/10 05:55 PM Re: How to Correctly Wash Eggs [Re: Rhea Dean Carter]
IPF Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 466
Loc: Canada
Yes, absolutely, warm water! Not because "we are told," but because we can see! This is really basic physics.

When you wash with warmer water, the egg contents, as they heat, expand slightly, putting pressure out through the pores so water (and bacteria) won't enter. Also, if you have an invisible crack, it will open up as the contents expand, making the crack visible.

When you wash eggs in cold water, the contents shrink, sucking the water (and stuff) in.

I use one of those green hard nylon scrubbies with the warm water.

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#88899 - 04/09/10 06:01 PM Re: How to Correctly Wash Eggs [Re: IPF]
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1932
Loc: New Zealand
I recently washed a pullet egg in warm water to observe the outcome. I didn't scrub it, just soaked it for a short while, then I swished off the poop with my hand. I set it aside for 5-6 days at room temp, and yesterday I broke it into a glass. The yolk looked fine, but the white had cloudy patches in it. I presume rather than know that this was bacteria. The white had a watery look to it as well. I conclude, therefore, that it is very important to wash with bleach in the water and then rinse clean.

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#88914 - 04/10/10 07:24 PM Re: How to Correctly Wash Eggs [Re: Foehn]
IPF Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 466
Loc: Canada
I'd like to know if the cloudy eggs were actually bacteria-infected before concluding that they were. Newly laid eggs are often cloudy because of the CO2 content that later dissipates, but that varies enormously from hen to hen, and also with storage conditions. Cloudiness per se isn't necessarily an indicator of infection.

I never soak my eggs (it seems to me to be asking for trouble?); I wash under warm-hot running water and scrub off the icky bits.

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#88916 - 04/10/10 10:53 PM Re: How to Correctly Wash Eggs [Re: IPF]
Morcar Offline
Chick

Registered: 03/31/10
Posts: 17
Loc: California
I just E-mailed my county extension office the other day about guidelines for this exact topic. He replied that they DO NOT recommend washing eggs and this is why:

Wash water temperature needs to be at least 20F warmer than the interior content of the egg. Many home owners would not know how to comply with that. In addition, the handling of washing eggs can create cracks that would not be detected.

He did say it's fine to wipe off any noticeable "soil" with a damp, not wet, rag or paper towel.

Even after receiving this answer just days ago, I have had a difficult time NOT washing my eggs in hot water with a little soap (naturally mildly antibacterial) or dish detergent.

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#88918 - 04/11/10 01:56 AM Re: How to Correctly Wash Eggs [Re: Morcar]
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1932
Loc: New Zealand
I should have photographed it, IPF. It didn't look at all normal. Soaking was but a few seconds.

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#89713 - 06/11/10 09:22 PM Re: How to Correctly Wash Eggs [Re: Saraa]
Poultry Doc Offline
Feather

Registered: 06/11/10
Posts: 37
Loc: Idaho
We wash pheasant eggs before we store them, and we get very good results. The idea is to follow the dilution recommentation of the soap manufacturer and to wash the eggs fast. We use both hand washing and automatic, and I would say the eggs do not get soaked for more than 1 minute. After that put your eggs into storage at 55F for a max of 15 days prior to setting.

Poultry Doc

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#89795 - 06/15/10 05:23 AM Re: How to Correctly Wash Eggs [Re: Poultry Doc]
TTC Offline
Feather

Registered: 04/17/10
Posts: 26
Loc: Thailand
From what I've read, washing really isn't a good idea, but each to their own I suppose. Having said that, all my eggs seem to be spotless, so I've not yet had a need to wash them.

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