How Long Can I Safely Store My Backyard Eggs?
May 13, 2016
How Do You Wash Eggs?
May 30, 2016

Handling Eggs: To Wash or Not To Wash

Handling your eggs once they’re collected and in your house can be a little bit tricky.

Should I wash my eggs?

The USDA and the United States Department of Agriculture always recommend that we wash our eggs.

If you do wash your eggs make sure they’re refrigerated.

By washing an egg, you are removing any contaminants that might be present on the outside of the shell, such as fecal matter or other particulates the egg picked up inside the nesting box.

However, when you wash an egg, you’re removing the protective layer that keeps bacteria fromactually moving inside of it, so make sure you get your washed eggs under refrigeration.

It’s recommended that eggs are collected, washed and refrigerated within 36 hours of being laid.

Once an egg is under refrigeration it has to stay refrigerated. So don’t remove your eggs or put them on the counter for any extended period of time.

What if I don’t wash my eggs?

Many people choose not to wash their eggs. The USDA does not recommend leaving your eggs  unrefrigerated on your counter. In fact, many commercial egg farms require refrigeration.

But if you do leave your eggs on the counter make sure you use them quickly. They won’t stay as fresh as long as refrigerated eggs because there’s more air transfer in a room ­temperature egg than an egg that’s under refrigeration.

So if you do choose to leave your eggs on the counter, I always recommend keeping them for no more than three or four days before you use them.

Nancy Jefferson
Nancy Jefferson
Nancy is a poultry nutritionist with Kalmbach Feeds with a PhD in food and animal science from West Virginia University. She resides in Crown City, Ohio with her husband John, where they raise beef cattle and keep a flock of backyard chickens. Nancy enjoys watching her chickens scratching and pecking around and collecting fresh eggs to feed to her family. She is a regular contributor to the Feed Your Flocks blog, where she provides tips and information to help backyard poultry owners get the most from their flocks. Read more about Nancy

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