Food & Health Safety

Food safety begins at the farm. Canada's egg industry enjoys a reputation for producing a choice of nutritious, wholesome, and safe eggs and egg products for Canadian families.

The assurance of food safety for Canadian eggs is validated at several levels.

BC Egg farmers take their responsibility seriously for providing consumers with eggs of the highest possible quality.

This desire for quality begins with provincial Consolidated Orders and the Recommended Code of Practice that govern the hens' health, environment, and care during egg production, transportation, and humane fowl removal. Responsible farm management remains the key to healthy hens and safe, nutritious eggs for all operation types.

Only one in a million Canada 'Grade A' eggs is estimated to be infected with Salmonella enteritidis (Se), making Se contamination very rare in Canada. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, on the other hand, estimates that one in every twenty thousand American eggs may be infected from within the shell. Certain precautions taken by BC egg farmers include: biosecurity signs at farm entrances to warn unauthorized people against entering property and buildings, thus protecting the hens from the accidental spread of bacterial pathogens; and field staff regularly test barns to ensure that the hens' environment and feed are free from Se contamination.

The following provincial and federal programs enable egg farmers to achieve the highest levels of food safety:

Start Clean Stay Clean™ (SCSC) Program

As a federal program conducted by the Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC), the Start Clean Stay Clean™ Program has proven successful in making Salmonella enteritidis (Se) contamination a very rare occurrence on Canadian egg farms. Regular testing throughout the year ensures that eggs intended for human consumption are safe.

HACCP* Audit & Accreditation

(*Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points)
HACCP standards are recognized internationally for ensuring the highest level of food safety. HACCP-based criteria are also incorporated into the Start Clean Stay Clean™ (SCSC) Program.

Egg farmers who wish to take their farm management and animal care standards to the highest level are encouraged to request and undergo an audit of their farm(s). Certain criteria must be met in order to achieve HACCP accreditation. Briefly, the following criteria must be met: participation in the national HACCP-based Start Clean Stay Clean™ Program with a resulting score of 95% or higher, request an audit and successfully achieve full HACCP-accreditation, participation in the national Animal Care Program with a resulting score of 95% or higher, and the egg production unit and owner/manager must be in good standing with BC Egg (i.e., in compliance with BC Egg's Standing Order).

Responsible Hen Health & Farm Management

Egg farmers are experts when it comes to responsible hen health and farm management. Sound research and science form the backbone of consistent and verifiable flock and farm management practices. As a member of the Canadian Poultry Research Council, Egg Farmers of Canada represents registered egg farmers by supporting and contributing to animal care and hen health research. Through BC Egg, registered BC egg farmers contribute further to critical poultry studies undertaken by the University of British Columbia.