Rural free range eggs. New Zealand’s estimated 3.2 million laying hens produced around 81 million dozen eggs in 2009. This equates to 972 million eggs in total, or 18.7 million eggs a week. Eggs are mostly produced (created, conveyed, graded and packed) without human handling, except for the removal of undergrades. This means that eggs are therefore less exposed to food safety and hen health hazards associated with more manual systems.
Quality Control: Each hen lays about 300 eggs a year. When the eggs have been collected at the farm, those that are dirty or have cracks or thin shells are discarded. The quality eggs are sent to an egg packing unit where they are graded according to their size: The grades shown below are based on a minimum size for that standard in New Zealand:
Jumbo (8): 68g
Large (7): 62g
Standard (6): 53g
Medium (5): 44g
Pullet (4): 35g
The egg packer also candles the eggs. During candling, the eggs are examined against a bright light. Any eggs with internal or shell blemishes are rejected and used to produce liquid or dried egg.
Information from Egg producers federation.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 Oct 12 th 2010