Saturday, August 15, 2009

Eating the eggs

In my last post, I mentioned that we ate one of the eggs with a crack in it. Being novices to owners of egg laying hens, this seemed the right thing to do. I learned later that this probably wasn't such a good idea. Oops. At least none of us got sick!

Without being too graphic, chickens have one single hole, called a "vent", where everything comes out of (both eggs and poop). The egg thus comes into contact with chicken poop bacteria. While you aren't using the shell in your food, the shell does come into contact with your hands, the bowl (if you crack them over the edge of it), and possibly even some of the egg, as it slithers into your bowl or cooking pan.

Arguments rage over the proper way to sanitize eggs. Some say that you can wash them with cold water and a soft scrubby, some that you should use hot water and antibacterial soap or even bleach, and some say just wipe it off with a cloth. When an egg is laid by the hen, it comes with a protective layer on it to keep bacteria out. When you wash the egg, you are removing that protective layer. Most people agree that if you do wash the egg, you should do it just before eating it. So that's what I've been doing. I'm most comfortable with hot water and a small amount of dish soap.

1 comment:

  1. Most eggs come out surprisingly clean, and don't even need cleaning. The ones that do, it is good to wipe (the feces) off with a dry cloth or paper towel, which doesn't remove the protective coating (until it's time to cook it). If you are cooking the egg, which most of the time you are, you don't need to worry too much about the bacteria when cracking it into a bowl. The heat of cooking most likely will destroy any bacteria present. Of course, it's good to be conscious...