Making the Grade
In Canada, eggs are graded, sized and packed at a grading station that is registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. All eggs are washed and sanitized in a high-speed washer that gently scrubs the shells. Egg quality is then examined using ‘candling’, which is a process that passes the egg over a bright light to make its interior visible. The grader checks the shell quality and size of the air cell, and confirms that the yolk is well-centered. Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada sets the regulations and standards for egg grading, based on these criteria.
Grade A: Eggs have a clean and uncracked shell, a round and centered yolk, a firm white, and a small air cell. These eggs are sold at retail for all Canadians to enjoy. Look for the Canada Grade-A symbol on the packaging of eggs you buy, to ensure top quality!
Eggs are then sized by weight, packaged into cartons and placed in refrigerated storage, until being shipped to retail stores and restaurants. CFIA randomly inspects egg cartons at the grading station to ensure they meet Grade-A specifications.
Canada Grade-A Egg Weights
- Jumbo – 70 grams or more
- Extra Large – at least 63 grams
- Large – at least 56 grams
- Medium – at least 49 grams
- Small – at least 42 grams
- Pee Wee – less than 42 grams
Grade B: Eggs have an uncracked shell that might have a rough texture, or a slightly flattened yolk, or a thinner white. These eggs are sold for commercial baking, or for future processing.
Grade C: Eggs have a cracked and/or stained shell, or a flattened yolk, or a watery white. These eggs are only used in the production of processed egg products.