Never Wash An Egg

March 3, 2020
Brown egg

Ron Sumners |


It makes a lot of sense that you’d want to wash the food you eat before cooking it. But, in the case of some foods, washing them does virtually nothing. And, for some others, washing can do more harm than good. Both of these can be the case when it comes to eggs. Of course, it would be quite the feat to wash the part of the egg that you’re going to eat. But plenty of cooks like to, at the very least, rinse the egg in the shell before they crack or boil it, to make sure that there’s no lingering dirt or germs. But the truth is, that’s actually already been done. Federal regulations that require the washing of all commercially produced eggs. The process removes a natural protective coating called a “bloom” from the surface of the egg. Once the egg has been washed, a film of edible mineral oil gets applied to the surface of the egg. That film is there to keep any bacteria from penetrating it and potentially contaminating the egg. Since the shell is porous, washing an egg will remove the mineral oil and the pressure of water and washing it can actually push bacteria into the egg. This is especially true if you use cold water or running water. Farm-fresh eggs, which have not undergone the rigorous commercial washing process, do have a greater potential to come into contact with dirt. However experts still recommends against washing them.  If a farm-fresh egg has dirt on it, you can use sand, sanding sponges or sandpaper to carefully buff off the dirt. But if you must use water, make sure it is about 20 degrees warmer than the egg you are washing to reduce the number of bacteria you are driving in (as the egg cools, what is on the shell will be drawn inside, and if you have removed the bloom, the bacteria will enter). You might also consider using products specifically designed for egg cleaning as a safe and effective alternative to using soap and water.

SOURCE: Reader's Digest

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