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Would you buy an egg that had been washed?

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19 de February de 2016 | Postado por Fornari

When you go to the market, what do you pay attention to when buying an egg box? Its smell? The color of the eggs? Cracks? Dirt or size? What about diseases?

Everybody knows who that Salmonela is. An annoying disease that is present in eggs that are not well cooked, in the poorly made or refrigerated mayonese, in that street pastry and other delicious and dangerous things. That “missy” there is a spoiler of parties, weddings and family meetings bigger than any other in the country!

Even so, nobody knows, or at least only a few know why eggs are not usually washed before getting to the market.

Around 1950 and 1970, ome european researchers studied some egg washing methots that went wrong. At the end of the researches they came to the conclusion that those methods. instead of washing the egg, ended up contaminating even more the shell and causing, at the time, big publich health problems and economic losses. That created an aprehension and since then many countries forbid the washing of eggs for consumption.

The biggest problems found were the sanitizers and the quality of the water used in the washing. For those who do not know, eggs have a small cuticle – invisible to the naked eye – around the shell. That cuticle has enzimes and proteins that have bactericidal and fungicide properties, which means, the egg alone would be able to protect itself for a certain period of time from bacteria and fungi from the external environment.

These researches also showed that some washing methods (with brushes, pressurized water and sanitizer composition) had some influence on that cuticle, thus removing the egg’s natural protection. Besides that, they also noticed that water with high amounts of iron and a pH too high or too low influenced on the cleaning potential of the sanitizers, which means that the action of sanitizers would be impaired and bacteria and fungi would not be eliminated.

As years went by, few researches were done to review those concepts. Some authors (that you can find in the references) reviewed those concepts and showed us that if we use the right method, choose the right sanitizer and keep a good quality of water, birds’ health and biosafety of farms, egg washing could be indeed something helpful against diseases in egg shells.

Nowadays, some countries allow the washing of consumption eggs. One of them is our neighbour, the USA, some european countries and many others like Japan and Australia. This last one, in fact, has been perfecting its technologies in such a way that it guarantees the quality of the eggs and protection for their people against Salmonela and others diseases.

So here’s our challenge: access Fornari’s Facebook Page and give us your thoughts. What’s your opinion on egg washing? Would you buy an egg like that?


1)    HUTCHISON M.L, GITTINS J, WALKER A, MOORE A, SPARKS N (2002). Washing table eggs: a review of the scientific and engineering issues. World Poultry Science Journal.Netherlands, v.59, jan.2003.

2)    STRINGHINI M.L.F, ANDRADE M.A, MESQUITA A.J, ROCHA T.M, RESENDE P.M, LEANDRO N.S.M (2008). Características bacteriológicas de ovos lavados e não lavados de granjas de produção comercial. Ciência Animal Brasileira, v.10, n.4, p. 1317-1327, out./dez. 2009.

3)    CARVALHO J.X, SUARES R.O, MENDES F.Q, FERNANDES R.V.B, CUNHA M.C, CARVALHO A.M.X (2012). Extensão da vida de prateleira de ovos pela cobertura com própolis. Ciências Agrárias. Londrina, v.34, n.5, p.2287-2296, set./out. 2013.

4)    GOLE V.C, ROBERTS J.R, SEXTON M, MAY D, KIERMEIER A, CHOUSALKAR K.K (2014). Effects of egg washing and correlation between cuticle and egg penetration by various Salmonella strains. International Journal of Food Microbiology. Netherlands, 2014.

5)    LELEUS S, MESSENS W, DE REU K, DE PRETER S, HERMAN L, HEYNDRICKX M, DE BAERDEMAEKER J, MICHIELS C.W, BAIN M (2011). Effect of egg washing on the cuticle quality of brown and white table eggs. Journal of Food Protection, v.74, n10, p.1649-1654, 2011.

6)    BUDKA H et al (2005). Opinion of the scientific panel on biological hazards on the request from the commission related to the microbiological risks on washing table eggs. The EFSA Journal. Europe, n.269,p.1-39, sept. 2005.


Juliana Rodem


CRMV/SC – 06043

FORNARI Industry – Concórdia/SC


Source: Fornari Industry (Advisory Communication – News Organizational Communication)


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