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Eggs, to wash or not to wash, that is my question.

 
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I've been told the old timers did not wash eggs after gathering to make them store longer and provide a bacterial barrier. Seems that a mucus membrane coats the eggs to slick 'em up and protect 'em, but commercial eggs are washed before being packaged for sale. Do you wash your eggs before storage? If you sell eggs, do you wash them or simply inform the buyer they've not been washed? I don't know that they need be washed before use at all. Very curious as I'm building a chicken run and intend to sell surplus eggs.
 
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Great question.  For personal use, I do not wash eggs unless they are noticeably dirty.
 
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Yep, tha'ts what I've ben told & I do not wash until I'm ready to put them in the fridge. I've also been told that they are able to be kept at room temp if unwashed & that's what I've been doing until I get a dozen collected, then I'll give them a quick soak & rinse to wash off any poop before putting them in cartons & then into the fridge for longer term storage. Curious to hear what others do & if anyone uses any kind of mild bleach solution for sanitation.

 
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Similarly, I keep them on the countertop.  Unless they're dirty, then I'll soak them in water for maybe 10 minutes, rub off the offending brown stuff, air dry til they don't look wet anymore, then those ones go in the fridge.

 
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I do not wash, and commercial eggs here are not washed. they will keep for around a month just sitting on the counter and for several months in the fridge. (commercial eggs here are unwashed but are refrigerated)
 
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I don't wash my eggs. If they are dirty, I wipe them with a dry cloth. It's worked well so far. My understanding is that some places require you to wash your eggs before selling to the public. I only sell to friends so we just inform them that they are not washed.
 
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When the eggs are really dirty like after a rainstorm and the yard is muddy.  I use those eggs first and wash the eggs under running water just before using them.

Otherwise, eggs don't get washed.
 
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Gary Numan wrote:Similarly, I keep them on the countertop.  Unless they're dirty, then I'll soak them in water for maybe 10 minutes, rub off the offending brown stuff, air dry til they don't look wet anymore, then those ones go in the fridge.



Me too.

Interesting note: They sell eggs at room temperature in Germany. Maybe all Europe? But we lived in Germany from 2003-2006, and the grocery store eggs were found at room temp right on the shelves with canned goods, flour, whatever.
 
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Stacie Kim wrote:

Gary Numan wrote:Similarly, I keep them on the countertop.  Unless they're dirty, then I'll soak them in water for maybe 10 minutes, rub off the offending brown stuff, air dry til they don't look wet anymore, then those ones go in the fridge.



Me too.

Interesting note: They sell eggs at room temperature in Germany. Maybe all Europe? But we lived in Germany from 2003-2006, and the grocery store eggs were found at room temp right on the shelves with canned goods, flour, whatever.



Yes I think so certainly its the case in the U.K too if the eggs are washed they loose some membrane and you have to refrigerate them or they go bad quickly. I think there is a downside from not washing them is the potential increased risk of salmonella but eggs are generally cooked killing the salmonella in the process.  I think this is also why its really hard to find raw cookie dough here, unlike in U.S.A. Commercial Mayonnaise here will also mention that the egg are pasteurised to avoid salmonella.

So you can consume unwashed egg and they do last longer without refrigeration. You just need to cook them/pasteurise them before consumption to avoid potential risk.
 
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I was going to reply that room temp eggs and beer were standard in the UK when I was there :)
 
Henry Jabel
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Michael Dotson wrote:I was going to reply that room temp eggs and beer were standard in the UK when I was there :)



Thats because it's ale, we serve lager cold. It's the same as serving red wine at cellar temperature and white wine cold.  :)
 
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Eggs are not washed for sale here in India, probably because not everyone has a fridge. I bought a case of 210 eggs in November and have been using them for the past four months. I kept them in a cool place in my house. They are still fine for most purposes, still delicious for fried eggs or omelettes, but they have dried out a little, so boiling them whole doesn't work. They crack when they hit the hot water now.
 
Stacy Witscher
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Rebecca-I've had better luck with steaming eggs for hard boiled with both very fresh and a little old eggs. In very fresh, they peel better. In older eggs, you can steam them without a hard boil and have less breakage, at least that's my experience.
 
Rebecca Norman
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That's a great tip, thanks! I'll try steaming them in the pressure cooker.
 
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I do both if an egg is dirty I wash it and put it in the fridge, ( one of my kids will only eat the eggs in the refrigerator, so it works out) otherwise I keep them in a basket on the counter.  I remember being so irritated at my dad when we first had chickens.  He would just leave the eggs out, I thought it was very carless of him.  He never said a word. I felt so foolish when I read he was doing it right.  Sorry Dad.
 
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Stacie Kim wrote:

Interesting note: They sell eggs at room temperature in Germany. Maybe all Europe? But we lived in Germany from 2003-2006, and the grocery store eggs were found at room temp right on the shelves with canned goods, flour, whatever.


That's still the case in Germany. Eggs are unwashed and sold at room temperature.

I only ever wash eggs from my own chickens if they are very dirty.

I usually keep the eggs in the refrigerator anyway because I found the nice little stand I had received from a neighbour clutters up my kitchen too much so I didn't use it.
 
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Those washing and refrigerating dirty eggs, you can also do as Stacy described and wipe them with a dry cloth. That way, you do not remove their protective coating. They are easier to clean with a dry rag after being inside for a day, so the poop is now more of a dust you are wiping off, rather than when it's first collected.
 
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