The Egg of course!
The average number of eggs laid by a hen in a year is 259. A hen starts laying eggs at 19 weeks of age. As a hen grows older, she produces larger eggs.
An egg is placed in the carton with the large end up. This helps keep the air cell in place and the yolk centered. During the packing process, eggs are separated by size. The minimum weights per dozen are: Jumbo (30 ounces); Extra Large (27 ounces); Large (24 ounces); Medium (21 ounces); Small (18 ounces); and Pee Wee (15 ounces)
Pasteurized Eggs are eggs that have been exposed to heat in order to destroy potential bacteria. Using Pasteurized Egg products and Shell Eggs is an option for safely preparing recipes calling for raw or under-cooked eggs. Pasteurized shell eggs must be kept refrigerated. You can store them for at least 30 days from the pack date.
Blood spots are caused by the rupture of a blood vessel during the formation of the egg. A blood spot does not indicate a fertilized egg and they are completely safe for consumption. If desired, the spot can be removed with the tip of a clean knife prior to cooking.
Eggs can come in many different sizes. Egg sizes include (from smallest to largest) Pee Wee, Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, Jumbo, and Super Jumbo. The size of the egg is determined by the weight of the egg. Typically, smaller hens lay smaller eggs. As the hen grows older and larger in size, so do the eggs she produces.
The color of the eggshell is determined by the breed of the hen. A hen with brown ears will produce a brown eggshell and a hen with white ears will produce a white eggshell. From a nutritional standpoint, there is no difference between a white egg and a brown egg.
Farmers classify their eggs by the interior and exterior quality at the time it is packed. Grades include AA, A or B. There is no difference in the nutritional value between different grades and all eggs sold at the retail level must meet the standards for Grade B or better. However, few Grade B eggs find their way to the retail market.
- Grade AA: Egg content covers a small area – white is firm and has thick white surrounding the yolk, and a small amount of thin white. The yolk is round and elevated.
- Grade A: Egg content covers a moderate area. White is reasonably firm and has a considerable amount of thick white and a medium amount of thin white. The yolk is round and elevated.
- Grade B: Egg content covers a very wide area. White is weak and watery, has no thick white and the large amount of thin white is thinly spread. The yolk is wider than normal and flat.