Eggland’s Best Commitment to Freshness

 

Eggland’s Best eggs consistently contain two-times (2x) higher levels of vitamin D than the USDA published levels for standard eggs. 

Vitamin D has been shown to improve egg shell strength, which helps keeps eggs fresher over time. (Hyline, Roberts, USDA Nutrient Database)

 

Eggland’s Best eggs consistently contain ten times (10x) higher levels of Vitamin E than the USDA published levels for standard eggs.

Vitamin E has been shown to improve egg yolk membrane strength, which helps to keep eggs fresher over time. It also helps to keep omega-3’s stabilized and flavor fresh throughout storage. (Roberts, Scheideler, USDA Nutrient Database)

 

Eggland’s Best feed consistently contains more than +267% more iodine than the minimum level recommended by the egg industry’s leading supplier of chicks and publisher of hen nutrition & husbandry guidelines, widely recognized as the industry standard.

Iodine has shown to improve egg yolk membrane and shell strength, which helps keeps eggs fresher over time. (Jacobs, Jones, Kirunda, Lichovnikova)

 

Eggland’s Best feed consistently contains +35% higher levels of Zinc than minimum level recommended by the egg industry’s leading supplier of chicks and publisher of hen nutrition & husbandry guidelines, widely recognized as the industry standard.

Zinc has been shown to improve egg shell strength, which helps keeps eggs fresher over time. (Hyline, Mabe, Roberts)

 

Eggland’s Best feed contains +40% higher levels of manganese than minimum level recommended by the egg industry’s leading supplier of chicks and publisher of hen nutrition & husbandry guidelines, widely recognized as the industry standard.

Manganese has been shown to improve egg shell strength, which helps keeps eggs fresher over time. (Hyline, Mabe, Roberts)

 

50% of the mineral selenium found in Eggland’s Best feed comes from organic sources.

Organic selenium has been shown to be more readily bio-available or absorbed by hens vs. inorganic or mined selenium. The absorption of selenium has been shown to improve egg yolk membrane strength, which helps keeps eggs fresher over time. (Hyline, Kralik, Payne, Scheidler)

 

Eggland’s Best feed never contains any animal by-products or fat.

Oxidation and rancidity due to animal by-products and fat in a hen’s diet has been linked to vitamin and mineral deterioration and consequently poorer quality shells and eggs.

 

Eggland’s Best uses canola oil in its feed.

Using canola oil in the feed in place of animal fat results in EB eggs having 25% less saturated fat than the USDA standard reference for eggs. Not only does this help to give Eggland’s Best eggs their superior taste but is also important for achieving the 115 mg of Omega 3 fatty acids in each EB egg.

 

Eggland’s Best feed never contains any reprocessed foods.

Reprocessed foods such as french fry oil, manufactured food scraps and food waste can be included in the diets for commercial laying hens.

 

Eggland’s Best feed always contains antioxidants.

Antioxidants help prevent rancidity and oxidation which has been linked to deterioration of nutrients and poor quality shells and eggs.

 

Eggland’s Best eggs are packed within seven days of being laid.

More than 90% of Eggland’s Best eggs are packed within hours of being laid. The faster an egg is packed and shipped to stores the stronger its yolk membranes and shells are and the fresher the egg is. The “best before” or “sell by” date that appears on cartons is based on when an egg is packed NOT when it is laid. USDA voluntary egg guidelines allow eggs to be stored for up to 21 days before being packed into cartons, as compared to a maximum of 7 for Eggland’s Best. (Jones, Kirunda, Roberts)

 

Eggland’s Best places all of its eggs in refrigeration within 24 hours of being laid and will not accept eggs that have not been cooled within this prescribed timeframe standard.

The FDA Egg Safety Rule allows eggs to be out of refrigeration up to 50% more time than Eggland’s Best maximum limit. The longer an egg sits outside refrigeration, the weaker the shells and yolk membrane become, which lead to eggs being not as fresh and losing their freshness more quickly. (Kirunda, Roberts)

 

When Eggland’s Best eggs are cooled before processing, the eggs must be warmed to room temperature within 24 hours before being washed.

The FDA Egg Safety Rule allow eggs to sit outside refrigerated storage for up to 50% more time than Eggland’s Best’s maximum prior to washing. The longer an egg sits outside refrigeration, the weaker the shells and yolk membrane become, which lead to eggs being not as fresh and losing their freshness more quickly. (Kirunda, Roberts)

 

Once processed, Eggland’s Best eggs are not permitted to be stored outside of refrigeration while still in the processing plant.

Quickly getting the eggs into refrigerated storage and keeping them under those conditions in the processing plant ensures that the eggs’ shells and yolks remain strong and maintain a consistent level of freshness.

 

Eggland’s Best requires that all of its processing plants have extra supplementary fans after washing & rinsing and prior to packing to better ensure thorough and complete drying of EB eggs.

This reduces the risk of the eggs sitting wet in cartons, leaving them more vulnerable to bacteria passing through the shell and causing spoilage and quality deterioration.

 

All Eggland’s Best eggs come from hens that are no older than 76 weeks (brown) or 95 weeks (white).

Eggs from older hens are more likely to have runnier albumen and cracked or deteriorated shells and thus not be as fresh or stay as fresh. (Jacobs, Roberts)

 

Eggland’s Best mandates annual veterinary audits of all farms, feed mills and processing locations.

Eggland’s Best uses veterinarians because they are more qualified and more likely to recognize signs of illness or disease in hens such as oviduct infections that have shown to materially affect shell and albumen membrane strength as well impact food safety. (Hyline, Jacobs, Roberts)

 

All Eggland’s Best chicks are vaccinated three times against Salmonella Enteritidis, once with live attenuated Salmonella vaccine.

Vaccination reduces the risk of salmonellosis. The hens are also vaccinated against common poultry diseases that could affect hen health and egg quality.

 

Eggland’s Best feed contains no antibiotics; antibiotics are never given to the hens during the egg laying cycle.

Healthy hens are essential for fresh, high quality eggs, but Eggland’s Best believes in keeping its hens healthy through superior feeding and care and not by relying on the use of antibiotics during the laying cycle which may lead to weaker immune systems and increased susceptibility to diseases later in the hens’ life which can negatively affect shell & membrane strength and quality.

 

All Eggland’s Best Eggs are inspected for quality and freshness by USDA inspectors.

Over 70% of eggs are not inspected at all by the USDA or held to any consistent quality or freshness standards.

 

Eggland’s Best quality and freshness grading standards are higher than the USDA’s basic grading standards yielding fresher, higher quality eggs. EB’s standards are higher as follows:

  1. Eggland’s Best Grade AA eggs have at least 92% Grade AA eggs. USDA standards criteria require only 87% minimum.
  2. Even when labeled Grade A, Eggland’s Best eggs must have at least 80% Grade AA eggs. USDA certified Grade A eggs have no Grade AA egg minimums.
  3. Eggland’s Best has zero tolerance for bloodspots. USDA standards allow up to 1% of eggs to have bloodspots. USDA field surveys have shown eggs are actually 45% – 55% more likely to have blood spots than Eggland’s Best. (EB-USDA Specs, USDA Retail Product Quality Survey 2010)
  4. Eggland’s Best eggs can contain no more than 4% Grade B eggs. Under USDA’s basic standards certified eggs can be up to 13% Grade B and Non-USDA inspected eggs can contain significantly higher levels of Grade B. (EB-USDA Specs)
  5. Eggland’s Best has standards for cracked eggs that are 20% more stringent that those for USDA basic certified eggs. And non-USDA eggs have been shown to have significantly higher levels of cracking than even the USDA certified eggs. (EB-USDA Specs; USDA Retail Product Quality Survey 2010).
 

Eggland’s Best eggs come from one of 33 different farms across the United States.

This helps ensure that the time and distance from farm to store is minimized for Eggland’s Best eggs to better preserve freshness.

 

All Eggland’s Best eggs are processed in USDA inspected facilities.

The Eggland’s Best takes this additional measure to ensure that freshness and quality are consistently maintained at a high level by all its farms and processing locations. (EB-USDA Specs)

 

All Eggland’s Best eggs are processed in Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level 3 certified facilities.

SQF is a recognized international leader in verifying stringent quality assurance programs. Eggland’s Best goes to these additional lengths to ensure that freshness and quality are consistently maintained at a high level by all its farms and processing locations.

 

All Eggland’s Best eggs on grocery store shelves are subject to regional biannual audits and testing by independent third-party inspectors.

Additional testing is also done by internal EB personnel in Eggland’s Best’s own laboratory. More than 35,000 tests are performed annually to ensure Eggland’s Best’s freshness, nutrition and quality standards are consistently being met or exceeded at the consumer’s point of purchase.

 

Eggland’s Best eggs are evaluated for taste by an independent third party annually to ensure that their superior taste is being consistently maintained.

Eggland’s Best has won a national taste award for ten years in a row since 2001, including the American Masters of Taste Gold Medal for Superior Taste for eggs every year since 2007.

All Eggland’s Best eggs are kept segregated from any other eggs during processing and are stamped with an “EB” to ensure that Eggland’s Best cartons are filled only with eggs that meet its high standards for freshness, quality, nutrition and taste.

Works Cited:

  1. Eggland’s Best Inc. Specifications Requiring USDA Certification. December 1, 2010.
  2. Eggland’s Best Inc. Operating Standards Manual. March 15, 2011.
  3. Hy-line 2010. Hyline Variety W-36 Commercial Management Guide 2009-2011. Hyline International. West Des Moines, IA.
  4. Jacob, J.P., R.D. Miles, and F.B. Mather, 1998. Egg Quality. University of Florida IFAS Extension. Document PS24.
  5. Jones, D.R. and M.T. Musgrove, 2005. Effects of extended storage on egg quality factors. Poult. Sci. 84: 1774-1777.
  6. Kirunda, D.F., and S.R. McKee, 2000. Relating quality characteristics of aged eggs and fresh eggs to vitelline membrane strength as determined by a texture analyzer. Poult. Sci. 79: 1189-1193.
  7. Kralik, G., Z. Gajcevic, P. Suchy, E. Strakova, and D. Hanzek, 2009. Effects of dietary selenium source and storage on internal quality of eggs. ACTA VET. BRNO 78:219-222.
  8. Lichovnikova, M., L. Zeman and J. Jandasek, 2008. The effect of feeding untreated rapeseed and iodine supplement on egg quality. Czech J. Animal Science 53:77-82.
  9. Mabe, I., C. Rapp, M.M. Bain, and Y. Nys, 2003. Supplementation of a corn-soybean meal diet with manganese, copper, and zinc from organic or inorganic sources improves eggshell quality in aged laying hens. Poult. Sci. 82: 1903-1913.
 
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