Preliminary results of the USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service 2009 spring survey of retail stores were presented at an industry workshop in Dallas, Texas, by Roger Glasshoff, national supervisor of shell eggs. The 2009 survey follows the previous store evaluation conducted in 1990. Data for the spring (April and May) part of the survey will be followed later in the year by the summer (July-August) component, each of which will comprise 2,500 samples. The survey is used as the basis of USDA Poultry Programs Destination Grade Standards

The survey was conducted on samples taken from the cold stores to eliminate confounding associated with consumers opening cartons and possibly damaging eggs. Store managers were notified of the intent of the survey. No regulatory action will be taken for any violations recorded. 

Table 1 indicates the classification of eggs examined during the first part of the spring evaluation comprising 1,119 samples.

 

Category

Samples Examined

1,119

White Shelled

946

Brown Shelled

73

Locations

131

Stores

70

Cage Free

57

Organic

63

Specialty Label

110

Table 1. Eggs Examined in the USDA-AMS 2004 Spring Market Survey 

Table 2 shows the results of the market survey denoting the major grade categories and defects. The quality of eggs packed with the USDA seal is obviously superior to non-USDA packs. The major defect category comprised "chex" which are multifactorial in origin and may relate to flock age, nutrition, exposure to disease, defective collection and handling and lack of in-plant detection and rejection of shell abnormalities.

Category

USDA %

Non-USDA %

All %

AA

79.9

63.7

70.3

A

13.6

26.7

20.3

Chex

4.5

6.0

5.4

Stained

4.3

1.0

0.8

Leaker

0.2

0.5

0.4

Table 2. Results of USDA-AMS 2009 In-Store Market Survey