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Food safety


Canada’s egg farmers place a high premium on safeguarding Canada’s food supply and are always striving for continuous improvement in their farming practices. Dedicated to Quality, our corporate tagline, is our ongoing guarantee to Canadians to ensure that our eggs are among the best in the world on the basis of quality, freshness and safety.

Canadian eggs are produced under guidelines that comply with the highest standards. Through programs like Start Clean-Stay Clean™ and the development of a Canadian Egg Industry Traceability System, we are able to ensure a constant supply of safe eggs.

Start Clean-Stay Clean™

Canadian egg farmers are committed to safeguarding Canada’s supply of eggs through programs including Start Clean-Stay Clean™, a comprehensive on-farm food safety program. Approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as being technically sound, this program ensures Canadian eggs are produced according to some of the highest standards for safety and quality in the world. The program tracks all regulated egg farms in Canada to eliminate or mitigate risks caused by known and unknown pathogens. The program entails:

  • Monitoring critical control points, implementing best management practices and keeping records related to factors including barn temperature, cleanliness, collection of eggs, storage of eggs, air quality and Salmonella enteritidis testing
  • Inspecting all regulated egg farmers annually. Farmers are assessed by inspectors trained by EFC against key critical control points
  • Working with Egg Boards and farmers to continuously improve on-farm practices.

The Start Clean-Stay Clean™ Program is based on the seven basic Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point principles (HACCP), an internationally accepted method for determining risks within a production or processing facility and adopting ways to reduce those risks. The seven basic principles of
HACCP are:

  • Hazard analysis
  • Establish critical control points
  • Establish critical limits
  • Monitor the critical limits
  • Record keeping
  • Corrective actions
  • Validation and verification

Canadian Egg Industry Traceability System

Since 2009, Egg Farmers of Canada has been working with the federal government and industry stakeholders on a Canadian Egg Industry Traceability System (CEITS). The purpose of this voluntary system is to be able to quickly identify the source of an egg or hen in the rare event of a human or animal health concern linked to eggs or hens. The system aims to determine where eggs or hens originated and / or were distributed from.

Dedication to Quality

Dedicated to quality, our corporate tagline, is our guarantee to Canadians. Egg Farmers of Canada seeks to ensure that Canadians have access to a constant supply of fresh, local, high-quality eggs. We want to make sure eggs meet and exceed consumer expectations for quality and safety, health and nutrition.

Before they reach the consumer, each Canadian egg is received at a grading station where they are washed and sanitized in a high-speed washer that gently scrubs them. Their quality is then examined using a process called candling. The eggs are then weighed and packed into containers with the applicable federal grade name in an inspected, sanitary environment. All grading stations are registered and inspected by the CFIA.

Grade A eggs are identifiable by the Canada A symbol on egg cartons and is the consumer’s guarantee of top quality. They are sold at grocery stores in Canada and meet the following CFIA national standards:

  • Reasonably firm albumen
  • Round, well centered yolk
  • Small air cell (less than 5 mm deep)
  • Clean, uncracked shell with normal shape.

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