How sanitary is this?

143
12
Joined Apr 6, 2010
So i was explaining to someone how I separate egg yolks by placing a bowl in a sink and cracking an egg in my hand and straining the whites out down the drain and just plop the yolk into the bowl...this person said its not very sanitary due to what can be on my hand even if I did wash directly before doing so. Its really the only way I know, besides that other method of taking the shells and going back and forth.

Is the first method indeed unsanitary?
 
1,447
47
Joined Apr 3, 2008
only if your going to eat the egg yolk raw. not to mention that the eggshell pass still leaves whites touched by fingers..which means they can't be used either..oh dear what to do....wear gloves it stops a lot of peoples issues..if they only knew how much their food was touched before it even got to the restaurant they wouldn't be whinging about how you separate an egg.
 
Last edited:
143
12
Joined Apr 6, 2010
The said person was my mother who insisted next time I use her egg white separator. I prefer the hand method...its faster.
 
5,288
767
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Most places I worked at, If I ever got caught throwing eggwhites down the sink, I'd a had a wooden clog up my butt.

Each egg comes with a "built in, bio degradable separator".  i.e .the shell.

Crack the egg over a bowl, and let the white drop in the bowl.  Pour the contents from one half eggshell to the other, each time catching the yolk in the empty half-shell.  Only need to do this about two or three times.
 
143
12
Joined Apr 6, 2010
Most places I worked at, If I ever got caught throwing eggwhites down the sink, I'd a had a wooden clog up my butt.

Each egg comes with a "built in, bio degradable separator".  i.e .the shell.

Crack the egg over a bowl, and let the white drop in the bowl.  Pour the contents from one half eggshell to the other, each time catching the yolk in the empty half-shell.  Only need to do this about two or three times.
But if I dont plan on using the whites and im at home, why save the whites in a bowl when it can go down the drain?
 
1,310
15
Joined Dec 4, 2001
First question - why are you dumping the egg whites down the drain? They keep very well in the fridge for quite a long time.

I see nothing wrong with separating eggs with your clean hands. It is quick and very efficient. IMHO using the shell has its own issues. You get more egg white clinging to the yolk, there is a risk you can break the yolk on the shell (a concern if it gets into the whites you want to whip up later) and the whites you are going to use later come in contact with the outside of the shell which really is unsanitary.

My wife (a non cook) is forever suggesting I do things according to her notion of what is sanitary. By now she knows I completely ignore her but it doesn't stop her making her suggestions anyway. Speaking of suggestions, I would suggest you find a diplomatic way to tell your mom you know what you are doing and continue doing it.
 
3,599
45
Joined Aug 13, 2006
Food pump, i used to use the shell to separate eggs and one out of three yolks would happen to catch on a sharp edge of the shell and break.  (I have lots of skills but never was able to get that one).  I learned to separate in the hand in a painting materials class in art school in making egg tempera.  It was a revelation!  So easy, no extra equipment to have (egg separators) and works every time - crack it in the bowl, lift out the yolk, and you can pass it hand-to-hand to get all that coating of white that doesn't come off if you just pass shell-to-shell. 

As for sanitary, when you cook something, what is a few residual bacteria after washing going to do?  If you cook and eat in sterile conditions you won't have an immune system and it will be so annoying and tiresome you won't enjoy it and will cook less!  And are you going to use gloves to knead bread, peel fruit, wash lettuce?  I would be more worried about the coating of the gloves giving a bad taste to the food.  You touch food all the time,  don't they say "il faut mettre la main a la pate"?  Not to do, perhaps, if you have a contagious disease but how tedious to cook without using your hands!

In making egg tempera, by the way, since you need the content of the yolk, but not the skin, you then dry your hand (on your pants, obviously, since you're only making paint, but in a kitchen you can use a cloth), pass it to the dry palm, dry the other palm, pass it to the other palm, and back and forth till it's dry enough to pick up with your thumb and forefinger!   Then to make tempera, you pierce it with a pin, knife, whatever, and let it drain out. 

It;s always fun to show people this. 

As for dumping egg white down the drain, i can;t tell you how many jars of egg white have sat in my refrigerator for so long they become archaeological artifacts, having found their way to the far recesses behind old pickle jars and other dubious things.  If i'm not planning to bake soon I get real and throw them down the drain.  And i bake a lot, but not so much with egg whites. 
 
Last edited:
7,587
753
Joined Apr 3, 2008
I never throw egg whites down the drain because I don't have a garbage disposal and it seems like they sit there.  Turn on the hot water and suddenly you have cooked egg whites down your drain.  I know this sounds terrible but if I have to throw away liquid food like egg whites I flush them down the toilette.
 
5,516
183
Joined Apr 3, 2010
Freeze the  whites in plastic bags.And yes you can throw them down drain, just don't run hot water run cold. Hot will coagulate the white somewhat. Next time you make scrambled eggs mix in another white it will not hurt it. Use them for breading foods just mix with 1 or 2 whole eggs, food even comes out lighter.. Use for meatballs, meat loafs, stuffing, force meats of any kind.cakes, muffins, cookies.
 
3,599
45
Joined Aug 13, 2006
Freeze the  whites in plastic bags.And yes you can throw them down drain, just don't run hot water run cold. Hot will coagulate the white somewhat. Next time you make scrambled eggs mix in another white it will not hurt it. Use them for breading foods just mix with 1 or 2 whole eggs, food even comes out lighter.. Use for meatballs, meat loafs, stuffing, force meats of any kind.cakes, muffins, cookies.
I'm more inclined to add an extra yolk than an extra white.  Yolks make for moister cakes, while whites make for drier cakes.  I often use 2 eggs plus two yolks rather than three eggs.  Yes, the yolk hardens, but also contains fats.  I like the texture with more yolk. 

I understood that frozen and defrosted whites don;t whip up like fresh. 
 
2,261
318
Joined Oct 9, 2008
Frozen egg whites may not make the lightest soufflees, but otherwise they're dandy.

You'll be glad to know that Jacques Pepin separates eggs with his hand in the bowl. He thinks the eggshell method loses a lot of egg white, there's a danger of breaking the yolk, and it's too slow.
 
523
18
Joined Mar 9, 2010
Seriously be gentle with those babies,,,,,whatever ya plan on doin!  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smoking.gif
 
929
18
Joined Jul 28, 2006
I cannot bring myself to separate eggs with my hands.  Just the thought of that sliminess slipping through my fingers makes me go all squeemish.  Nothing to do with sanitation...just cannot do it.  EeeUuuW! 
 
2,261
318
Joined Oct 9, 2008
Actually, I find that EVERYTHING handled with gloves feels eeeewww. Good thing I don't work in a pro kitchen, eh?
 
1,464
313
Joined Oct 23, 2008
Our hands are the most versatile tools we have in the kitchen, period. I'm with Gunnar, if sanitation (and by that I mean someone thinks they will get cooties) is a factor, then wrap it up, as expected you lose a lot of feeling.. I mean.. when handling the eggs and whatnot.
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top Bottom