Should You Wash Your Chicken Eggs?

Do eggs need to be refrigerated?

Here in the United States it is uncommon to find eggs at the grocery store that are not washed and refrigerated. Even as a child I remember that eggs were sold this way also. What if I was to fill you in on a little secret, most of the world do not wash or refrigerate eggs that are for sale.

I found this out this past year when we took a trip to Europe. Walking through the stores I saw that the eggs were sold where the canned milk and baking goods were sold. Business Week article on eggs sold in Europe.

Here in the States the FDA states that eggs need to be sterilized and chilled in order to reduce any chances of salmonella getting into the internal part of the egg. With the way our culture is worried about diseases and bacteria we have come accustomed to washing and refrigerating our eggs when we purchase them. Many articles online state the reason why the FDA insist that the eggs produced here in the United States needs to be washed and refrigerated has to do with the way the mass produced egg factory farming is done here in the states.

Now if you are like me and have our own hens that supply us with eggs than I disagree with what the FDA has to say about how the eggs are handled. Here in America once the egg is popped out of the chicken the large chicken egg factories put the egg in a fancy machine that washes them with hot soapy water which makes the shell pretty and clean. It seems here in the United States we are a little spoiled in that we want everything supper clean and pretty.

But in reality washing eggs compromises the egg by washing about the barely visible natural protective coating that keeps the egg safe. Egg shells are porous and they have a membrane that is called a bloom that is put there naturally to protect the environment of the egg.

If you raise your own eggs and you feel the need to wash your eggs just remember that washing eggs removes this protective coating and invites bacteria to be drawn inside the egg. If you still feel that you need to wash your eggs wash them in hot water not cold since cold water creates a vacuum affect which will pull unwanted bacteria inside. If the eggs are really dirty I will only wash the eggs that I am going to eat at that time and I will let the others sit on the counter until I am ready to use them in a recipe or have them for a meal.

How do you feel about washing or not your own chicken eggs, we would love to hear from you.

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Posted by Tom

I have always had an enthusiasm for homesteading and for living off the grid even though I live in a combination of country and urban setting. Living in Central Florida north of the big cities we have the best of both worlds, country and the conveniences that a person would have living in a large urban city. I personally have had a concern about our weakening economy and how it effects each and every-one of us. The second thing that I have a concern about is how most of the world view’s our country and what may happen one day here in the United States. My Life Experiences I was raised by parents that grew up during the great depression, they passed onto me what life was like and how people had to live during this time period. My family were farmers, gardeners, and homesteaders, they were raised this way and they passed onto me these qualities. I also have family members that live totally off the grid. They live in the North Woods of Minnesota which is a great location for living off the grid. The Southern Homesteader is a passion of mine, I love passing on and sharing information about cooking, news, being self-sufficient, living off the grid, canning, food storage, budgeting, and much more. Since this blog is a passion of mine I am constantly adding and tweaking this site to be a better resource for you. More About Me I grew up in Northern Illinois farm fields. After spending most of my life in large corporate business I decided to relocate to a small town on the nature coast of Central Florida. This is where I met my wife and between us we have 4 wonderful daughters. We have a small homestead where we raise our chicken and live freely. We also have a bug-out place in the mountains of North Carolina that we call our retreat. We spend time there getting things prepared for all our family members when SHTF. I am blessed with a wonderful family and the knowledge that God has given me so I can pass this along to you the readers. I will never tell what you what to do or what to purchase, I just am offering my opinion. I want to take this time to thank each and every one of you. Always feel free to contact me and drop me a note. I will do my best to respond to your emails in a timely manner. Thank you again, Tom Johnson