Tend: how to keep those eggs clean

So, I've been thinking about eggs and how to keep them clean. Especially since my fiance and I got knocked down from a slightly undercooked frittata last August. Paranoia over eating our chickens' eggs, as well as an aversion to eggs in general, followed. I am over that now--although, still a bit shy of frittatas--, but I've done some thinking about whether tis better to clean eggs or not.

Some people bleach their eggs. Some people wash them in warm water. Some in cold. But the sources that I saw on keeping chickens and collecting eggs usually suggest that you do not wash the eggs. The shell has natural properties that help keep bacteria from seeping in and getting to the egg. If you wash the shell, you risk destroying that natural barrier and risk weakening the egg's defenses to stay fresh and bacteria-free. If you find an especially shitty egg that really needs a bath, wash it and eat it right away. Otherwise, here's what I suggest:

Keep the nest clean! My chickens roost above where they nest, so they make it messy rather quickly. While they like to keep the actual egg-laying area fairly clean, they are still rather dirty birdies. As often as possible (at least twice a week), rake the old straw or hay out of the nesting area and replace it entirely. Then, throughout the rest of the week, put a layer of clean straw on top of the older straw. This will help keep those eggs clean. You will be able to give the eggs a swipe with a dry paper towel or with your thumb nail, but otherwise, for the most part, they should be okay.

Also, and this might sound overly obvious, but if you can collect the eggs daily, you can keep them cleaner. Sometimes we miss a day. We go to work and then to class, get home late in the rain and dark, or we leave town for a night or two. Those eggs get dirty. So collecting eggs when they are fresh helps with cleanliness.

And remember, they won't be perfect. You should always make sure that they are cooked thoroughly. If you are really worried about it, you could wash them before you cook them, but I would advise that you do not wash them before you store them.

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