Should You be Washing Eggs before Consuming?

Should eggs be washed?
Should eggs be washed?

My husband laughed when he saw me washing the store bought eggs. I washed and lay them down on a newspaper and then wiped them clean before refrigerating. True, I did break a couple in the process. He laughed at my foolishness and insisted that there was no need to do all this. I secretly thought that he perhaps did not like that I broke some of the eggs every time I washed them, thereby creating a mess!  But I was convinced that I was doing the right thing; after all some eggs were covered with the hens’ poop and some with feathers and one with blood stains.What if some of the egg shell fell into the pan while cooking, clumsy as I am with cracking the eggs. To top it all there had been the recent scare of the bird flu in the region.So I have to be a stickler for hygiene. Happy and satisfied that I had done a rather good job, I planned to write a blog post with a fancy title ‘ 5 reasons you must wash your eggs!’

Just before i started typing away on my computer, I decided to do a little research on Google (The genie who knows all the answers). I was in for a shock! My husband was right all the time ( just this one time , mind you)! The general recommendation is that eggs should not be washed before stacking them in the fridge. The reason for this is that when a hen lays an egg it is coated with a thin natural coating made of certain proteins, called bloom. The bloom forms a protective layer and rather protects the bacteria from entering inside the egg shells as it covers the pores. If the eggs are washed it strips off the bloom and causes the bacteria to penetrate through the shell. So what must one do? Let the bird poop stare at you everytime you open the refrigerator door or break those eggs deliberately? Nothing of the sort. Just wipe off the offending pieces with a moist cloth and leave alone the rest of them. Though, it does make sense to wash an egg just before you cook it.

Some more interesting facts I learnt:

  • Store eggs in the fridge with broader side up. This helps to keep the yolk nicely centred.
  • A fresh egg sinks in water and a stale one floats
  • To differentiate between a raw egg and boiled egg, spin both with same torque. Boiled eggs spins fast and steadily. The raw egg wobbles.This is because the centre of gravity of the raw egg which is essentially liquid keeps changing as it rotates. when you touch to stop the spinning eggs, the boiled egg quickly comes to rest but the raw egg keeps spinning for a while. (Newton’s law of inertia- in case you’re curious)
  • Eggs are a storehouse of proteins and vitamin D. They are damn good for you! But you knew that didn’t you?
  • ‘Sunday ho ya Monday roz khao ande’ ( Hindi for ‘eat eggs everyday’)

Here is an interesting eternally posed question that I share from the site http://didyouknow.org/eggs/

‘What was first, the chicken or the egg?
Short answer: the chicken is the egg’s way of creating another egg.

According to the bible, the chicken came first. Genesis 1:20-22: So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”

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