To ensure and guarantee our consumer a high quality egg, food safety is of high priority for TopLay. Although eggs are one of the safest foods, designed to naturally protect its contents from harmful bacteria by a hard calcium shell, two membrane layers and natural antimicrobials in the egg yolk, we at Toplay ensure food safety is guaranteed every step of the way.
Many people do not realise the journey an egg takes from the farm to your refrigerator, nor the processes which the egg undergoes. Below is a flow chart illustrating the complex journey.
Eggs from breeding flocks are placed in incubators and after 21 days they hatch. The chicks are moved to the pullet’s barn where they are housed until 19 weeks
2. Laying Barn
At 19 weeks the hens are transferred to the laying barns to begin producing eggs. The most common housing system used in South Africa is the Cage system. This system ensures the highest possible food safety and egg quality standards. This system keeps the eggs free from the chicken manure, which contains large amounts of bacteria. The birds have ready access to the feed troughs directly in front of their cages as well as a steady supply of water. The cages system also supports the hen’s natural instinct to huddle together for security and social interaction.
3. Grading Station
The eggs are collected from the cages and taken to the grading station. In the grading station the eggs are washed and sanitised. Their quality is then examined using a process called candling or scanning. In candling the egg passes over a bright light, which highlights the interior and enables the farmer to see cracks, the condition of the shell and whether the egg yolk is well-centered. The eggs are then weighed, sized by weight and packed in cartons. All the eggs in the carton may not be the same size but they are within a specific weight range.
4. Retail Market
From the Grading station eggs are packed into trucks and delivered to the retail market. In the store the eggs are rotated to ensure that those that arrive at the store first are the ones sold first.