Any eggs that come from hens that were fed a diet high in flaxseed could smell ‘fishy’, as a result of the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid that flaxseed naturally contains. Increasing the flaxseed component in hen feed is one of the most common ways for hens to produce Omega-3 eggs; the ‘fishy’ smell actually comes from the omega-3 fatty acid, even in fish.
When preparing raw or lightly cooked eggs, you must use proper food handling methods. Grade-A eggs must have clean, uncracked shells. Wash you hands in hot, soapy water before and after handling the eggs. Eat the dish immediately after preparation or immediately refrigerate the product until served, keep it cold during serving and consume it the same day it is prepared. Discard any leftovers.
All chemicals used to clean eggs at the grading station are food-grade chemicals that are approved by both federal and provincial regulations, which are verified to not contain any priority allergens (corn is not a priority allergen in Canada, so CFIA would not be specifically looking for it). Also, the egg’s natural coating is removed during the cleaning process. You should always follow recommendations for storage and handling of eggs.
During the formation of an egg, a blood vessel can occasionally rupture in the hen, causing a blood spot to form. Blood spots typically occur in less than 1% of all eggs laid. Eggs with blood spots are usually removed during grading, but occasionally a very small spot is missed. Although an egg with a blood spot is not harmful to eat, the spot can easily be removed with the tip of a knife before cooking.
If stored in their original carton in the middle of your fridge, eggs should be good for about a week beyond the expiry date. However, one way to test for freshness is to drop an egg into a glass of water – if it sinks it is fresh, if it floats it isn’t!
Though not uncommon, especially with very young or very old birds, double-yolk eggs still only account for less than 1% of our daily egg collection.
Most eggs are available in grocery stores about a week after they were laid, meaning you always have access to fresh, high quality, locally produced eggs!
All eggs sold at retail are washed and sanitized at grading stations that have been certified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Eggs also have a protective layer that your washing could remove. Since you’ll likely be cracking the eggs or boiling them in the shell, washing them seems unnecessary, but it’s certainly not wrong to do so. Click here to find out more about grading stations.
Just like humans, both a rooster and hen are required to create a baby chick. That’s why egg farmers only raise hens (female chickens), to eliminate the risk of fertilization.
EFA and the province's egg farmers would be happy to answer some questions for you!