Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Eggs: To Wash or Not to Wash?

Most eggs that are purchased at the local grocery store come from large producers who wash & sanitize eggs before they go to market. Unfortunately, this process removes the natural protective bloom (a.k.a. cuticle) or covering that coats the egg just before it is laid. The bloom seals the pores of the eggshell and protects the inside from bacteria while reducing moisture loss from the egg. Some producers lightly coat the eggs with an edible mineral oil to mimic the natural bloom after the sanitization process, often giving the eggs a shiny appearance.

It's not possible for large production facilities to monitor the health and wellness of each and every hen, so they have to wash & sanitize the eggs. Buying eggs from a local producer often ensures that the natural bloom is still intact when the eggs go home with you.

Since I've always been one to trust God's ingenuity & I know the health of our hens, we only lightly rinse soiled Happy Hen eggs with warm water before packaging them. Oftentimes, the eggs are perfect straight out of the hen and require little to no rinsing which guards the integrity of the natural bloom. To support safe handling practices, you should rinse your farm fresh eggs just before use.

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