I recently found this article and saved it for later to write about. Today seems to be the right time to do so.
Why American Eggs Would Be Illegal in British Supermarkets and Vise Versa , from Forbes online.
It is definitely worth taking time to read even if you an experienced chicken wrangler, a foodie or just interested in food safety. Our food system is so hard to understand sometimes. Why are there some things that are banned in other country’s food chain and not in ours? This makes it even more confusing because what you hear might be true in Canada, but not south of the border in the good old US of A. This article really sheds lots of light on the egg industry and what works; two completely different protocols.
In this country we often think of eggs as a vector for food borne illness. I hear people say they are worried about farmer’s market eggs sitting there without refrigeration. I have had social acquaintances comment that they would rather eat grocery store eggs than mine. (Because???? Factory farms are cleaner than my little coop with my backyard chickens.)
Some of the highlights on this side of the pond and that are as follows:
- In the UK they vaccinate all their chickens for salmonella and it is practically non-existent; in the US we generally don’t.
- In the UK it is illegal to wash eggs, and in the US it is required.
- In Europe eggs are store at the grocery on a shelf near baking supplies, and the US in a refrigerated case.
I hope you will take a few minutes and read the full article it is well written and it is enlightening about the pros and cons to each. There is no one right answer that is for sure.
I use a combination of both with my flock. My coop and facilities are clean and my hens lay clean eggs. I elect not to wash them and leave the natural antibacterial coating on the egg. I store my eggs in the refrigerator, unless I plan to make hard boiled eggs. In which case I will leave the eggs my hens laid in a bowl on the counter for 3 or 4 days and they are still not as stale (easy to peal) as grocery store eggs. I would never do that for eggs that I was unsure how they were handled.
It is like all foods and food borne illness know the risks and be smart in the handling and preparation of your food