Producing safe, quality eggs is a complex process and responsibility that egg farmers take very seriously. Egg farms follow strict guidelines to produce safe, healthy eggs and provide care for their hens. On U.S. farms, eggs are typically shipped from the farm within one week of being laid.
Egg farmers follow rigorous biosecurity and cleaning procedures to help prevent disease. After hens lay eggs, they are promptly moved from the laying area into the processing area where they are washed and inspected.
Did you know all eggs are washed under strict regulations to sanitize the eggs? On many farms, eggs are handled by machines instead of human hands to decrease potential damage and exposure to contaminants, though eggs that feature a USDA grade mark on the eggs are visually inspected by USDA officials.
In addition to visual examinations, eggs are candled over a light source that allows defects to become visible. Most eggs with internal irregularities are found through candling and not packed for sale. Here’s a quick guide on some irregularities you may find in eggs, and what to do if you find one:
After the eggs have gone through the inspection process, they! are sized, packaged and transported to restaurants and stores, remaining refrigerated throughout the process, according to FDA regulations.