How to clean eggs is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of dirty eggs. Of course, no one wants to cook an egg that is soiled with chicken poop. Whether it is coming from your farm or from an unknown farm, you just want your egg clean at all times. There is a long debate on whether eggs should be washed before storing them or not. This is why you must be sure before you remove your egg bloom. I will keep it simple and straight to the point in this article. We sometimes encounter eggs that are not clean so my aim is to show you how to clean eggs or manage dirty ones.
Some Reasons for Dirty Eggs
- Delay between laying time and egg collection time (especially in deep litter)
- Blood stain on eggs as a result of large size or tight vent
- Poor management from collection site to point of sale
- Egg yolk from a broken egg may have dried on your eggs
So, is it right to wash your eggs? Yes. But the question is when and how.
In order to decide whether to wash your eggs, you need to understand why it might be dangerous to wash your eggs.
Dangers of Washing Eggs
- You Break The Egg Bloom: When an egg is laid, it comes coated with a protective outermost layer called the egg bloom or cuticle which seals the pores on the eggshell. This egg bloom is easily removed upon washing, and when it happens, it means that the egg’s natural protection is gone.
- You Invite Dangerous Microorganisms: Once the bloom of an eggs is out of place, the egg is said to be vulnerable. It becomes easier for microorganisms to penetrate the pores of the eggshell into the egg and grow. Organisms like Coli and Salmonella can be dangerous to humans and are commonly found in chicken faeces/poop that is sometimes found on eggs
- Washed Eggs May Become Unsafe: If Salmonella finds its way into an egg in the absence of egg bloom, it becomes a public health issue as it can affect consumers if the egg is not well-cooked.
Why Should I Wash My Eggs?
Before we talk about how to clean eggs, let’s look at why we may have to wash our eggs. Don’t forget that the same part of the chicken where the egg comes is where their poop comes out. Apart from this, eggs do come soiled with chicken poop at times. So, if you are ready to eat your eggs, then you should wash. However, there is a precaution. Because the egg may be carrying Salmonella on its shell, ensure to wash your eggs with water that is at least 11C warmer than the egg temperature. This has been found to prevent the egg from sucking in any harmful bacteria from its shell surface
How To Clean Eggs
- Make sure the water is at least 11C warmer than the egg temperature
- Do not soak, just run the water and use a soft material like foam to scrub gently if necessary
- Once washing is done, be sure to dry the eggs completely immediately.
- Take note that washed eggs must be refrigerated if not consumed immediately because the egg bloom is absent to protect the egg. Hygienic storage of eggs also includes prevention of dampness. Do not at any time allow condensed water to settle on the eggs.
The Farmers Perspective
As a farmer who cares to know how to clean eggs, you know that customers like to have their eggs clean. So, you must ensure that you keep your eggs clean as much as you can. One of the best practices to have clean eggs is to always collect your eggs regularly. Especially if your hens are kept in deep litter. However, you should not be tempted to wash your eggs because of your customers. If by accident you have a couple of soiled eggs, please let your customers know that it is in their interest that you have decided not to wash the eggs.
Summary on How to Clean Eggs and Why
- For retail purposes, keep the egg bloom
- If you are eating your eggs, wash with warm water before cooking
- If you must wash your eggs and store, dry them completely and refrigerate immediately
- An egg is a powerhouse of nutrients that is rich enough to give life to a chicken. Treat it with some kindness.
READ ALSO: Causes and Prevention of Shell-less Eggs