Candling: An inspection process whereby eggs pass over a bright light making the interior of the egg visible to the grading inspector, who looks for three key things – shell condition (clean and uncracked), size of the air cell (the fresher the egg, the smaller the cell) and a centred yolk.

Free-run housing: Type of housing that allows hens to roam freely inside a laying barn where they can perch, nest and scratch. Eggs are laid in nesting boxes designed so the eggs can roll away to a collection belt.

Free-range system: Type of housing that gives hens access (weather permitting) to the outdoors. They have access to shelter, feed and water and nesting boxes.


  • Grade A - An egg with a clean shell with normal shape and no cracks; a well centred yolk and a small air cell. Sold for use at home and in restaurants.
  • Grade B - An egg whose shell has no cracks but may have a rough texture; a watery white; slightly flattened or enlarged yolk and may be slightly stained or soiled. Sold for commercial baking or further processing into ice cream, pasta or mayonnaise for example.
  • Grade C - Lowest grade because of the egg’s thin, watery white; loose yolk; possibly cracked shell; and stains on at least a third of the egg. Sold to commercial processors for further processing only.

HACCP: HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) is a systematic preventive approach to food safety. It is used in the food industry to identify potential food safety hazards, so that key actions, known as Critical Control Points (CCP's) can be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk of the hazards being realized. The system is used at all stages of food production and preparation processes including packaging, distribution, etc.

Laying Cage system: The preferred form of housing in Canada as it ensures the highest standards of quality and food safety are met. The system provides a safe and healthy home for hens, protecting them from bacteria and from enemies such as wolves, foxes, hawks and weasels. The hens have on-going access to feed and water.

Rhode Island Red: An egg producing hen that lays brown eggs.

Start Clean-Stay Clean™: All Canadian egg producers are required to adhere to the Start Clean – Stay Clean™ program, a national producers’ program designed to ensure the production of safe, clean, high-quality eggs. Many producers also subscribe to a HACCP On-farm Food Safety and Quality Program to further ensure the quality of their eggs.

White Leghorn Hen: An egg producing hen that lays white eggs.