10 tips for egg safety | Living the Country Life
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10 tips for egg safety

By following a few simple rules, you can safely enjoy delicious eggs from your hens!
  • Collect regularly

    Collect eggs two to three times a day, especially when weather is especially hot or cold. Discard eggs that are found on the floor, or that have cracked shells.

    Date Published: July 24, 2013
    Date Updated: July 24, 2013
    Tags: Eggs, food safety
  • Wash up!

    Wash your hands with antibacterial soap both before and after cleaning eggs. Also be sure to sanitize equipment from other farms, or when moving equipment between flocks.

    Date Published: July 24, 2013
    Date Updated: July 24, 2013
    Tags: Eggs, food safety
  • Dry cleaning

    Eggs that are slightly dirty can still safely be used. Use a dry method like brushing off the eggs with a dry brush or emery cloth, or even lightly sanding the dirty spots off with sandpaper. If washing with water, it must be potable and 20 degrees warmer than the egg (at least 90 degrees) using a sanitizer approved for egg washing, and immediately dried. Otherwise, bacteria can pass through the shell.

    Date Published: July 24, 2013
    Date Updated: July 24, 2013
    Tags: Eggs, food safety
  • Keep the coop clean

    Make sure the chicken house is kept clean and dry. Remove old floor litter and nesting materials once a week, and replace with fresh materials.

    Learn more about this gorgeous coop:

    Date Published: July 24, 2013
    Date Updated: July 24, 2013
    Tags: Eggs, food safety
  • Set it up for success

    Organize your coop to make it easier to clean. Mount a perch somewhere away from the nests, and clean underneath it often to remove feces. A removable screen placed under the perch can make this job easier.

    Learn more about this coop:

    Date Published: July 24, 2013
    Date Updated: July 24, 2013
    Tags: Eggs, food safety
  • Plan for pests

    Chickens attract flies, beetles, rodents, wild birds, and cats, all of which can carry Salmonella. Check floors and walls often and seal holes created by rodents, and screen in windows and other openings to prevent wild birds from getting in. 

    Date Published: July 24, 2013
    Date Updated: July 24, 2013
    Tags: Eggs, food safety
  • Feeding tips

    Make sure chicken feed is stored in a clean, waterproof container to prevent contamination. Keep feeding and watering equipment clean, but don't wash them in your kitchen sink.

    Date Published: July 24, 2013
    Date Updated: July 24, 2013
    Tags: Eggs, food safety
  • Good eggs

    Producers who sell eggs need to candle them, but you may wish to do this even if they're just for your own use. Hold the egg up to a bright light, and discard any with abnormal shapes, spots, cracks, or other irregularities. Also, if your flock is on medication, discard eggs layed during that time, or during the withdrawal period.

    Date Published: July 24, 2013
    Date Updated: July 24, 2013
    Tags: Eggs, food safety
  • Safe storage

    Store eggs in a clean, new cardboard box and refrigerate at 45 degrees F. or less for 30 to 40 days. Keep refrigerated at all times.

    Date Published: July 24, 2013
    Date Updated: July 24, 2013
    Tags: Eggs, food safety
  • Using eggs safely

    Don't use eggs with cracked shells. Crack into a small bowl before dumping into your mixing bowl. That way, if there's a defect, you can discard the egg without ruining the dish you're preparing. Eggs with blood spots on the yolk are safe to eat, and the spot can be removed with a knife. Never eat raw eggs; cook until yolks are firm, or cook foods containing eggs to 160 degrees F.

    Sources: Colorado State University Extension, North Carolina Department of Agriculture

    Date Published: July 24, 2013
    Date Updated: July 24, 2013
    Tags: Eggs, food safety

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