Washing eggs at the grading station

This article was posted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 21st, 2010

Canadian food safety regulations require eggs to be washed and graded if they are sold at a location off the farm such as a store or farmers' market. (If you choose to purchase eggs directly from a farm, be advised that the eggs may not have been washed and graded.)

These regulations are enforced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) which oversees all aspects of the egg grading process and inspects grading stations regularly. Eggs are washed in chlorinated water with a food-grade detergent in order to thoroughly clean the shell and remove any dirt and bacteria. The temperature of the wash water and the type and quantity of detergent used is regulated by CFIA.

I recently read some information online that suggested that washing eggs in chlorinated water is not an acceptable practice. Reading this reminded me of all the concern awhile ago over mini carrots being washed in chlorinated water. Some people thought that what appeared to be white "residue" on the peeled, pre-cut and packaged carrots was evidence of chlorine. In fact this "whitening" is simply what happens to carrots when they dry out a little!

But back to eggs.

The level of chlorine used in the wash water is regulated by CFIA. As mentioned above, the use of chlorine is important to thoroughly clean the shell.

You can learn more about the grading process by visiting CFIA's website