One of the most frequently asked question we get is whether we wash farm fresh eggs. If you’ve never raised chickens or been around farm fresh eggs this may seem weird to you. Wash eggs? Of course, you wash them! Well, that’s what commercial suppliers do.
But here on our homestead, we’ve learned a thing or two about whether or not to wash farm fresh eggs.
After much research, we found there is very little reason to wash farm fresh eggs. When an egg is laid, it has a protective coating on it known as a bloom. This bloom is invisible to the naked eye but is there not the less. When the egg is fresh it is a bit sticky until it dries, once it is dry you can no longer feel the bloom.
This bloom seals the egg and prevents air and bacteria from penetrating the air sac as quickly. Once this bloom is removed (during the washing process) the egg no longer has a protective barrier to keep bacteria out. For our own personal use, we do not wash our eggs. They sit in a basket on our counter until we are ready to use them. An egg will last 3 weeks in this environment. If you are uncertain if your eggs are edible then you can perform a float test.
We sell eggs to our local market, so it’s important for us to wash farm fresh eggs.
The FDA has regulations on this and requires all eggs to be washed and refrigerated. So the eggs we sell, we wash and refrigerate. We try to be as compliant as we can when it comes to food safety when dealing with the general public. Most people are accustomed to buying eggs from a store which refrigerates them per government guidelines. They often do not understand how an egg can survive outside of the refrigerator, so if you plan to sell your farm fresh eggs, it’s probably best to wash them and refrigerate them.
Refrigerating eggs serves two purposes. The cold temperatures help keep out bacteria and the egg with no bloom stays fresh longer. It also kills any embryo growth that may occur if you have a rooster. Embryo’s need extremely high temperatures and humidity to develop, so refrigerating is a good thing if you have a rooster and broody hens.
Which ever method you choose, just make sure you follow the steps needed to ensure health and safety.
~Until next time,
Question: Do you choose to wash your eggs?