Washing Eggs Before Storing Can Be Harmful

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Washing Eggs Before Storing Can Be Harmful
In order to maintain cleanliness, many people decide to wash the egg before it is put into the refrigerator. If you're one of them, then it's good to stop doing that from now on.

Reporting from KlikDokter, dr. Dyan Mega Inderawati wrote, the habit of washing eggs before being stored could increase the risk of entry of Salmonella, a bacterium that causes typhoid in humans, into the body. Salmonella bacteria itself is known to be in the chicken ovaries. When removing the egg, the bacteria can be carried away and attached to the egg. The Centers for Disease Control United States estimates, about 1 in 20,000 eggs have been contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.

Naturally, eggs are protected from germs with a thin membrane lining the outer shell. This membrane that covers the pores to avoid the entry of Salmonella or other germs found in the outer layer of eggs.

When we wash the eggs, this protective film can be damaged. As a result of the damaged protective membrane is the opening of the egg pores. With the opening of pores on the egg, Salmonella located on the outer shell of the egg will be brought into the egg. The content contained in eggs is very rich in nutrients favored by these bacteria, consequently the bacteria will thrive.

When the process of cooking eggs is not perfect, these germs can be consumed by us and will cause complaints, such as fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Studies conducted by Gole VC and friends in 2014 suggest that penetration of Salmonella bacteria increased significantly in washed eggs compared with unwashed eggs.

However, there are still pros and cons that allow and do not allow washing of eggs before storage to avoid Salmonella contamination.

University of Minnesota and Authority of Ireland for Food Safety are two institutions that do not recommend to wash eggs before they are stored. Different results are presented in a study conducted by Samiullah and friends in 2013, where there was no significant difference between washed eggs and unwashed eggs in terms of Salmonella penetration. Therefore, further and in-depth research is needed to ensure the relationship between these two.

How to prevent germs that may be present in eggs do not infect us?

As quoted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, to avoid Salmonella infection, we can do some of the following tips: 
  1. Store eggs in the refrigerator with temperatures below 4⁰C. Try to put it inside the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container, not on the refrigerator door. It aims to keep the temperature stable.
  2. Immediately dispose of eggs whose shells are damaged or broken.
  3. Always wash hands and appliances that come into contact with raw eggs using a cleansing soap immediately after use.
  4. Only the consumption of eggs is really mature. Avoid eating raw or undercooked eggs.
  5. Eat immediately cooked eggs in less than 2 hours.
  6. Immediately store eggs that have not been processed or food containing eggs in the refrigerator
In addition, even in the refrigerator, too long storage processes will also alter the structure of the outermost layer of the egg. As a result, eggs will become more vulnerable to contamination. Therefore, do not be too long store eggs in the refrigerator. One source mentions that eggs should be used a maximum of 4-5 weeks after eggs are stored in the refrigerator, or in accordance with the expiration date contained on the egg packaging.


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