1

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How safe is this backyard chicken egg-handling?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 30, 2013 at 3:47 PM

My cousin pulls these eggs from the roost, puts them in cartons on her counter. No cleaning or refrigeration, stuff stuck to them, which I understand should be no big deal. My son had a couple for breakfast on Sunday, and puked hours later after running a mountain race.

I assumed this was due to the race, it was only 6 miles but very difficult. Later that night he also booted his chicken alfredo (he and his mom are not paleo). I began to suspect the eggs. I washed these eggs Sunday night as I became worried about cleanlines. I realize that this dissolved the natural coating, not sure if this is a problem. I refrigerated them after washing.

I had 10 of these for dinner Monday night. This is a typical portion size for me, they were 450g total. I had nasty diarrhea with painful stomach cramps early on Tuesday. The toilet bowl left no mystery as to what the problem was.

These eggs were cooked by separating yolks and whites, frying the whites completely and then adding yolks to just barely thicken them. The yolks were pretty raw.

The remaining dozen eggs have been washed down the drain. The whole ordeal has shaken my faith in the farm fresh unwashed egg theory as I understand it. I can't determine from the internet what I may have done wrong. Should they have been refrigerated sooner? They saw daily temps in the upper 70's for several days. I washed the natural slime and hay from them with warm soap and water, could something have penetrated the porous shell? Is eating raw egg yolk playing roulette, plain and simple?

I've edited this question to clarify the question and that I'm sure the eggs were the problem, not interested in debating that or the portion size of my meal. This is a question about handling eggs from the backyard chicken. I'm sure I made some mistake here as I don't often eat unrefrigerated, unwashed eggs. I guess this is less common in this community than I thought. Please share whatever house rules you may have for browsing the backyard henhouse safely. I would love to hear from people who keep chickens themselves or otherwise enjoy backyard variety eggs.

62fafa8cb15af7c562fa8c270f7b6174

(619)

on September 01, 2013
at 06:10 PM

Booted as in puked on the side of the road.

Medium avatar

(624)

on September 01, 2013
at 04:58 AM

Sorry for how that post came across. Didn't mean to offend... And yeah I saw marathon in the other guy's post and ran with it. Anyway, I'm guessing the eggs weren't the culprit. Salmonella is just the thing most people fear getting sick from when eating funky eggs... but I suppose there's the odd chance that you guys got infected with some other weird bacteria from the traces of old poo and stuff on the eggs.

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on August 30, 2013
at 07:49 PM

Sorry, I might have misread "mountain" for marathon on the itty bitty iPhone screen (made even smaller by the giant Paleohacks banner that takes up half the screen!!!!!!).

62fafa8cb15af7c562fa8c270f7b6174

(619)

on August 30, 2013
at 07:01 PM

Marathons and salmonella were not mentioned in my post. Sheesh.

62fafa8cb15af7c562fa8c270f7b6174

(619)

on August 30, 2013
at 06:52 PM

I edited in response to your assumptions. There was no marathon and this serving of eggs is typical for me, I'm sure we're very different people.

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6 Answers

3
Medium avatar

on August 30, 2013
at 06:17 PM

The rare (very rare) occurrence of salmonella in/on eggs is actually just on them. The only way it gets inside is through a crack. If they are washed before being cracked, it's very close to impossible to get salmonella. In fact, it'd be a rare event to get it from licking an unclean egg shell.

That said, if you got salmonella, you'd be in much worse condition than puking after a marathon or having the runs after overindulging.

I agree that the causes of your respective conditions were likely unrelated to the quality of your eggs. Your son ran a marathon. You got carried away with breakfast for dinner. I'd think twice before eating more than 5 eggs in a sitting, though I have eaten 6 a few times. I often eat them raw in a coconut cream shake (2 or so). I usually don't wash them first, but I would if they had any kind of visible yuck on them. I just get 'em from the store.

Wash your eggs if it makes you feel better, but don't blame good eggs for bad events.

62fafa8cb15af7c562fa8c270f7b6174

(619)

on August 30, 2013
at 07:01 PM

Marathons and salmonella were not mentioned in my post. Sheesh.

Medium avatar

(624)

on September 01, 2013
at 04:58 AM

Sorry for how that post came across. Didn't mean to offend... And yeah I saw marathon in the other guy's post and ran with it. Anyway, I'm guessing the eggs weren't the culprit. Salmonella is just the thing most people fear getting sick from when eating funky eggs... but I suppose there's the odd chance that you guys got infected with some other weird bacteria from the traces of old poo and stuff on the eggs.

2
61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on August 30, 2013
at 08:56 PM

I would recommend washing and drying the eggs right before cracking the shell. This way, you aren't having the insides potentially touch a poopy/otherwise yucky shell, but you're also not washing off the protective outer coating too early.

Also, check with your cousin regarding how long they sit unrefrigerated, how long they may sit in the roost, what they are fed, how often their henhouse/roost is cleaned and how it is cleaned, that sort of thing. There may be some valuable information there.

2
C53fa0034cbfd17ab52bfaf557641654

on August 30, 2013
at 06:31 PM

We buy them at our farmers market, and I never wash them, unless there is visible gunk on them, I may rinse them off.

1
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on August 30, 2013
at 05:30 PM

I don't have backyard chickens so I can't speak to that, but I regularly buy pastured eggs and often eat them raw without fear.

Supposedly unwashed eggs can go a long time without refrigeration, but our county requires farmers to refrigerate eggs sold to the public anyway.

I'd be puking if I ran a marathon with or without eggs. The fact that your son puked does not mean it was the eggs. What kind of condition is he in for running a marathon? How hot was it? Did he have proper hydration and nutritional support before, during, and after?

And I would be puking if I ate 10 eggs at one sitting, no matter how they were prepared. That's a bit over the top, don't you think?

Wash the eggs to your comfort level. I often do because I don't want bits of chicken feathers and poop in my food. But I don't get too overwrought about it. If the eggs appear relatively clean, I don't worry about it.

62fafa8cb15af7c562fa8c270f7b6174

(619)

on August 30, 2013
at 06:52 PM

I edited in response to your assumptions. There was no marathon and this serving of eggs is typical for me, I'm sure we're very different people.

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on August 30, 2013
at 07:49 PM

Sorry, I might have misread "mountain" for marathon on the itty bitty iPhone screen (made even smaller by the giant Paleohacks banner that takes up half the screen!!!!!!).

0
5c08d3b8ea8a15642d2e399581f07fd1

on September 01, 2013
at 10:30 AM

"Booted" as in kicked or got rid of? For what it's worth my supermarket eggs are covered in gunk and feathers.

62fafa8cb15af7c562fa8c270f7b6174

(619)

on September 01, 2013
at 06:10 PM

Booted as in puked on the side of the road.

-1
618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on September 01, 2013
at 02:21 AM

If you were already suspicious of the eggs because of your son's barfing after a MOUNTAIN RACE, you might have created a bit of a subliminal suggestion to yourself that maybe the eggs were bad. The mind is a powerful thing, and I've freaked myself out on a few occasions - so much so that I hurled even though nothing was really wrong. While I agree with the other commenters that 10 eggs in one sitting is ALOT (and would make me puke) I get that you are a regular eater of 10 eggs at one go, so you must be made of tougher stuff than the rest of us. Hungrier stuff, definitely! Backyard eggs are easy, as long as the chicken keeper practices basic coop hygiene. the eggs shouldn't have obvious fecal matter on them. I clean them off with a dunk in a bucket - but you can wash them or not wash them - if they were truly bad, you'd be in worse shape than one puke.

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