Farm Eggs Wash or Not

Fresh Farm Eggs Wash or Not

Heading out to the chicken coop to gather our farm fresh eggs is a daily experience and one that I enjoy.  Sometimes the eggs are somewhat dirty.  Very first thing you would think to do after bringing them into the house is to wash them.  After all the eggs you purchase from the local grocery story are all nice and clean.

Let me share some facts about eggs.  Eggs are covered in bacteria and germs.  As you can see from the photo these eggs are not clean.   I like to call it have some of the farm left on them.  Biggest risk with eggs is with salmonella bacteria.

Let’s talk about the eggshell.  Eggshells are made of tiny calcium carbonate crystals.  Every eggshell looks solid.  Actually each eggshell is covered with pores.  These pores allow the transfer of bacterial between the inner and out eggshell.

Hold on if your thinking your never going to eat another egg in your life.  Nature has developed its own defense against contamination.  Just before Henrietta lays her egg, her body deposits a protein like mucous coating on the outside of her egg.  The protective coating is called the bloom.  The pores of the egg are sealed, which stops the transfer of bacteria from outer shell to the inner shell and egg center.

The bloom will remain intact as long as the egg is NOT WASHED.  Just running the egg under water will remove this protective layer and the egg pores open.

The U.S. is one of the few countries that requires washing of commercial eggs.  Compared to european countries who legally restrict commercial eggs from be washed.

For example in Ireland only unwashed eggs receive Grade A or AA standards.  Ireland can’t commercially sell eggs that have been washed.

My farm fresh eggs are never washed.  The bloom is left on and for this reason the eggs don’t have to be refrigerated.

Please share your thoughts on using farm fresh eggs over store-bought eggs.  I look forward to hearing from all of you.

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97 thoughts on “Farm Eggs Wash or Not

  1. I get my eggs at the store and never would have thought to wash them. I have never heard of this – especially since we don’t eat the shells.

  2. I sure didn’t know anything about the bloom. I thought you should always wash eggs. I always buy my eggs and at the store and was always curious as to why we have to refrigerate our eggs and European countries do not. Thanks for the info.

  3. Salmonella infection is something I don’t want to have. I buy eggs from the store and this is the first time I have read about the bloom. I guess one way to stay safe is to cook the eggs thoroughly.

  4. First, I want to say that I hope, in the future to a couple of chickens. I find the older I get, the more I’m into the self sustaining lifestyle. So, I love hearing stories from those who live the life I hope to one day! With that said, I’m not sure how I feel about not washing eggs. I understand what you’re saying, but growing up in the city and seeing the eggs all pretty looking, I’ve never thought about it one way or the other. It’s interesting hearing about the bloom and how it protects the eggs. I wonder why the US makes it a requirement to clean them if it’s not as healthy. Thanks for the informational post.

  5. I don’t think I have actually ever seen an egg that wasn’t cleaned and we always store our eggs in the carton in the fridge. I wonder if because we remove the bloom they are trying to keep bacteria at bay by storing them in the fridge? So interesting what other countries do!

  6. Alright I never knew that you didn’t need to wash farm eggs. This has really thought me something. My co-worker gives me eggs all the time from her farm. So, now I know not to wash them anymore.

  7. Fascinating! We have chickens too, but we wash ours because I’m afraid that after cracking the egg could be contaminated as it passes the shell into the bowl. What do you think?

  8. I mostly use store bought eggs, but I prefer to support local farmers when I get the chance. it’s just not always convenient for me to do so.

  9. My husband’s co-worker told us this information you’ve shared since he lives in a farm. I live in the city but wants some chicken in our backyard. We have to have a fence build so we do that. I want fresh eggs every morning.

    1. They are washed no what kind of eggs you buy from the store. The bloom has been removed, the pores are open they won’t keep as long and that is why they have to be refrigerated.

  10. Very informative post on farm fresh eggs! I have gotten eggs from a local farmer and I assume he washes them because they never look dirty.

  11. I heard this once and couldn’t believe my ears! SO interesting. Does this mean that our eggs go bad much more quickly than they should?

  12. I just read an article that said that you definitely should NOT wash home grown eggs. But that it is vital to wash your hands after visiting or handling chickens.

    1. Yes you should always wash your hands after handling any eggs, chickens, ducks , geese ect. Scrub under fingernails as well. Thanks for commenting.

  13. I just turned to my husband and was like “did you know that there’s a protective coating on eggs…” and he immediately said “And the US ruins it by scrubbing it all off.”
    I obviously never knew this and thought it was interesting.

  14. Candy, I love reading your posts. My grandmother never washed her eggs, but I never knew why. I do have a question. How long will eggs keep if they haven’t been washed or put into a refrigerator? I have a friend who has free range eggs and was wondering about how long they can stay out of the fridge and maintain their stability and freshness. Thanks for always keeping me informed!

  15. I had no idea that other countries restricted the washing of eggs! We are planning on getting chickens next year and I can’t wait to NOT wash my eggs!

  16. This is so interesting!! I grew up on a farm in the UK and we never washed the eggs. I noticed when I moved to the US that the eggs in the store look crazy clean but never thought it a problem. I feel enlightened, yet disappointed!

  17. Farm fresh eggs are wonderful, but not always convenient to get a hold of where I am from. I really enjoy getting the free range eggs from the store, because those are the next best thing in my opinion.

  18. I would like to say that I learned a lot from reading this article. It was really interesting about the natural protective shield that farm eggs have. And, I had no clue about eggshells having pores – not something you think of when looking at them.

  19. I’m a bit confused by this, here’s why – Our hatching chicken eggs book says to wash the eggs before putting them in the incubator. If the bloom is there, why would it say to wash them? Could it be due to the high heat of the incubator? Of course the momma chicken sits on them as they are and they hatch just fine. Have you used an incubator before? Thank you for sharing this post at the Wednesday AIM Link Party. I shared it on my social media sites.

    1. Yes we have incubated chicken eggs for years. No I have never washed our eggs before putting them into the incubator and have never had a problem. Honestly I just think they have been washing eggs to sell for so long that people think they have to be clean. My mom never washed her eggs and I haven’t either.

      1. What is your success rate? The 1st time we did 10, didn’t wash them and only 1 chick hatched. The 2nd time we did 10, washed them per directions from the book and 5 hatched.

        1. On an average we start with 20 eggs and usually 16 hatch. I pick them up late in the afternoon and immediately put them in the incubator. Our rooster is very active guy.

  20. This is a great post about the farm fresh unwashed eggs. I never know this and I don’t think to many people know about the bloom on the eggs. Thanks so much for sharing the information and I will be sharing it with family members too.

  21. We don’t wash our eggs either and I wish more people knew this information, so thanks for sharing! If they’re especially dirty, I WILL wash them off right before I crack them, like someone above commented, but that’s as good as it gets. I always “warn” people who are new to buying our eggs that we don’t wash them, but most people around here seem to expect the dirtiness. 😉

  22. I’ve always wondered about this! I’ve never heard of the bloom .. but not what you’ve explained it .. it all makes good sense.

  23. This is a great post about farm eggs. I had never heard this information before I read your post. If I had chickens I would not wash the eggs until I was going to use them. Thanks for sharing this awesome information.

  24. This was really educational. Honestly, I know very little about farming. But I know US regulations make us do a lot of things to milk that aren’t “natural”. So I imagine it wouldn’t be much different with eggs.

  25. Wow, I had no idea about this! I’ve always purchased my eggs from the store, but never thought about needing to wash them. Maybe I will look into farm fresh eggs now…

  26. I haven’t really used farm fresh eggs, although I know that my aunt and uncle has done so. Sounds like they would be good. I would be worried about the Salmonella poisoning though.

  27. Never heard nor knew this before until I cam over your post. Nice information. I must share this info, i’m sure some will just learn about this too.

  28. Oh my! I couldn’t get passed the part where eggs are covered in bacteria and germs. I’m not a big egg person in the first place.

  29. Wow, I had no idea! I always buy my clean eggs from the grocery store. Such an interesting explanation, thank you.

  30. I always thought eggs needed refrigeration so that is interesting to me; especially since you always find them in the refrigerator aisle. Wow! This is very interesting. Never knew about the bacteria idea either. Good to know.

  31. This is a great share, thank you! I never really understand the why and reasoning, traveling all over the world not many places refrigerate eggs and the washing. Hmmm, have my mind going now.

    1. The store bought eggs have already been chemically washed and the bloom has been removed. That is why you must refrigerate store bought eggs. You don’t have to refrigerate farm eggs.

  32. I assume in Canada our eggs from the store are washed too, I never knew this was different in Europe, nor about the different refrigeration needs. So interesting!

  33. I’m in shock! I never knew any of this about eggs, but always knew that farm fresh eggs were best. We used to get some from a family we knew out in the country that had chickens. I had never learned about the bloom though. Totally makes sense. And makes me wonder why the USDA would force the washing process… Thank you for giving me this info. I plan to do a little research into this.

  34. This was an interest read. My other half and I had a discussion about this, and we had a different opinion on this subject. He had no problem with not washing eggs fresh from the farm . I would have washed them. After reading this, we would wipe off the “farm” and wash our hands before touching anything else in our kitchen.

  35. Well I had no idea about the bloom. i have raised chickens for over eight years. How come I have never heard about this? I have always washed my eggs. I guess now I will not. Thank for the tip!

  36. Wow I didnt even realize thee was eggs that were washed and not washed. I’d figured there was difference between europe and the U.S as eggs here are refrigerated.

  37. I have chickens as well and love farm fresh eggs. I leave my eggs in a basket on the counter until ready to eat, then I wash! Having the eggs in a cute wire basket sitting out is cute decor as well. lol!!

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