Animal Welfare and Food Safety

America’s egg farmers care about proper hen treatment and are committed to providing you and your family with the safest and highest quality eggs. This commitment starts on the farm with top-notch animal care and extends across the supply chain - from the delivery truck to the processing plant to the grocery store.

Keeping hens disease free is an important component of any animal welfare program. Egg producers work with veterinarians and poultry specialists to make sure that all birds used for egg production are healthy and disease free. Through programs like the National Poultry Improvement Plan producers have been able to obtain disease-free chicks from hatcheries as well as perform routine vaccination and biosecurity programs that help keep disease off the farm and out of the birds.

In addition to keeping hens free of illness, many considerations are given to their overall well being. Nutritious feed, continual access to clean water, appropriate lighting, management practices to minimize stress and proper space guidelines are all important considerations that must be considered in raising egg-laying hens.

There are many different types of housing systems available to egg producers today. With the differences in housing systems comes varying attitudes on whether eggs produced in one housing system is safer than other. At this time, there is no general consensus on which housing system is better than another when it comes to food safety. Many different variables factor in to the prevalence of bacteria and diseases on a farm. Egg producers with cage, cage-free, free range and organic housing systems have been working toward reducing pathogens like Salmonella Enteritidis on the farm for over 10 years.

When you pick up a dozen eggs at your local grocery store, there is a 9 out of 10 chance that they came from a farm that is a member of United Egg Producers (UEP). UEP's egg farmers are dedicated to assuring that Americans can continue to buy eggs that are produced in a safe and environmentally sound method. UEP Certified guidelines pertain to both cage and cage-free housing systems. For more information on UEP Certified’s animal welfare standards please go to