What to Know: Unwashed Eggs

Why are they washed?

Once you purchase the eggs from 4G Farms, they will come washed. We collect them in the evening, run water over them to remove most of the larger chunks, and lightly scrub them with a brush.

Eggs are washed because coming directly out of a chicken they have a protective layer on them, called the bloom. Eggs also have microscopic holes in their shells that this layer keeps protected. Eggs you get from the grocery store go through a chemical wash that can leak partially into the egg. This could be why some get sick from eggs. This protective layer keeps the chicken feces from going into the egg.  Eggs can sit out on the counter for weeks without being washed. 

However, legally to be able to sell them in the state of Wisconsin, we have to wash our eggs.  We do not do the chemical wash, instead only providing a light rinse.  We clean just enough for them to be sold, but we try not to disrupt the bloom too much. 

What Do I Do With Washed Eggs?

The eggs that have been chemically washed have to be refrigerated right away. The ones we sell, since I just surface wash them, you can leave them out for up to a week before you should refrigerate them. If you do refrigerate them right away they will last even longer. 

Chemically washed, store bought eggs = Fridge Immediately, might last a few weeks

4G lightly washed eggs = can sit on the counter, but eventually will need the fridge.  If they are on the counter then fridge they will last a few weeks, if they are straight to the fridge they will last months. 

Unwashed eggs = can sit on the counter for up to three months undisturbed and still be okay to eat.

The Wisconsin law is hoping to avoid customers getting salmonella, by cracking open an unwashed egg, then the egg yolk touches the part of the bowl you used to crack. Even with out lightly washed egg, you do not need to worry about washing them more, scrubbing hard or even stress about us missing spots, the chances are VERY low of getting salmonella by an unwashed egg. It is more likely to get salmonella from eating raw egg in cookie dough.

Many farmers don't wash their eggs, keeping them on the counter for weeks, until right before use when they wash it. I know it probably feels strange but don't stress about leaving your eggs out!