It’s actually against the law to wash eggs in Europe, and for a good reason!
The United States is one of the only countries in the world that sells refrigerated eggs.
In Mexico and Europe, it’s more common to see eggs out on produce shelves, next to the apples and bananas, at room temperature, with bits of feather and dirt on them.
Why? Because the health departments of many countries see washed eggs as less safe.
Along with the dirt, feathers and even bits of chicken feces, washing eggs removes a protective coating around their shells, known as the “cuticle” or “bloom,” which Mother Nature designed to protect and preserve the inside of the egg.
The cuticle is a “very efficient and orchestrated system to protect the embryo from external microbes until hatch,” according a Canadian study. “An intact cuticle forms a pore plug to occlude respiratory pores and is an effective physical and chemical barrier against microbial penetration.”
Without the cuticle, the egg shell becomes porous and susceptible to bacteria entering and rotting the egg faster. This is why eggs must be refrigerated after washing to slow down the process of decay that the washing has just sped up.
U.S. regulators require farmers to wash and chemically sanitize eggs, because they’re worried about salmonella and e. Coli, which are found in large quantities on factory-farmed eggs, which have comprised the majority of eggs in our country for decades.
The “crappy” part about that is any other bacteria they are bound to come into contact with will have an easier time getting through the unprotected shell.
We know of a simple solution to that problem… get your own chickens… or buy from a small, local farm or neighbor, who keeps their birds out on pasture in fresh air and sunshine… not trapped in their own feces in over-crowded factories!
Unwashed eggs will stay fresh at least two weeks at room temperature and around 3 months in the fridge, according to Mother Earth News.