On the Farm
There are more than 1,000 egg farmers and farm families in Canada who produce fresh, local and high-quality eggs for Canadians to enjoy every single day. We are happy to introduce some of the faces behind egg farming in Canada.
From Farm to Table: The Grading Station
The Grading Station
In Canada, eggs are graded, sized and packed at an egg grading station registered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. At the grading station, eggs are washed and sanitized in a high-speed washer that gently scrubs the shells. Their quality is then examined using a process called “candling.” In candling, the egg passes over a bright light, which makes its interior visible. This allows the grader to see the condition of the shell, the size of the air cell and whether the yolk is well-centered. Based on these criteria, eggs are divided into grades.
Grade A eggs have a clean, uncracked shell, a round and centered yolk, a firm white, and a small air cell. These eggs are sold in retail stores for all Canadians to enjoy. Grade B eggs have an uncracked shell that might have a rough texture. The yolk is slightly flattened with a watery white. These eggs are sold for commercial baking or for further processing into foods such as mayonnaise, noodles, or baked goods.
Afterwards, eggs are sized by weight, packaged in cartons and placed under refrigeration until they are shipped to retail stores and restaurants. Egg cartons are stamped with a “best before date” which indicates the length of time they will maintain their Grade A quality.
Did you know?
- Eggs are placed in their cartons large end up to keep the air cell in place and the yolk centered.
- The eggs available at Canadian stores usually arrive there within a week of being laid.
- Eggs are graded by weight, not size. All the eggs in one carton may not be the exact same size, but they are within a specific weight range.
- Egg size is related to the age of the hen. As a hen gets older, she lays larger eggs.
- Canada’s system of egg supply management ensures that Canadian have access to fresh, high-quality and locally produced eggs.