Food Safety and Quality Assurance

Rabbit River Farms is committed to providing you high quality organic and free range eggs while maintaining the highest food safety standards in the industry.

Our Food Safety and Quality Assurance programs have three components:

  • Process Quality
  • Food Safety Enhancement Program
  • Farm Food Safety “Start Clean/Stay Clean”

Process & Product Quality


Our trucks (refrigerated) pickup up eggs from our local farms daily. Before washing and grading our eggs are maintained at 10° Celsius and less than 85% relative humidity.
From our truck, the eggs come directly into a refrigerated cooler and are then washed, candled, weighted and packed within 24 hours.
The egg grading process begins by cleaning the eggs with certified organic soap and warm water at a temperature of 40–50° Celsius while maintaining a target PH level of 10. After being rinsed in clean water the eggs are dried by an air blower.


The most important step in the quality process is candling. During candling the eggs pass over a high intensity light which reveals imperfections in the egg interior and shell. Eggs with poor shell quality, such as calcium imperfections on the shell, hairline and major cracks, visible blood and meat spots are removed.

After the candling process, random eggs from all our flocks are selected to evaluate the yolk colour on the Roche Scale, which ranges from 1 (pale yellow) to 15 (deep orange) in colour. The shade of the yolk is a direct result of the hen’s diet with darker yolks found in eggs laid by hens that have a diet containing higher levels of xanthophylls from feed such as corn, peas and pasture grass. The typical wheat based diets fed to hens result in egg yolks of a very light colour. Our Quality Assurance personnel ensure our feed mixes and pasture ranges are balanced to maintain yolk colours which reflect a healthy and varied diet.

After washing, drying and candling the eggs are weighted by a highly accurate computer scale. Sorted by size and weight they move to different stations and get packed in clean, recycled fibre packaging containers.


Random samples are pulled from final packaging to double check shell quality for cracks and imperfections. After the lot has passed our internal inspection it is cleared for shipping to distributors or retail stores. Cleaned and packed eggs are moved to our outgoing cooler where their temperature is reduced to 3° celsius for optimum preservation. Thereafter the cold chain is maintained at the CFIA target of 3° celsius. Within 24 hours of packaging, our organic eggs are shipped to retail stores for sale – meaning that you are ensured of a fresh Rabbit River Farms egg!

Food Safety Enhancement Program (FSEP)

FSEP is a CFIA program which specifies an effective food safety management system. FSEP is based on the principles of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system. HACCP is an internationally recognized, science-based food safety system, designed to prevent, reduce or eliminate potential biological, chemical and physical food safety hazards. The CFIA inspects our grading station every two months to rate the effectiveness of our FSEP and grade our station based upon the findings. Our current rating is AA.

The Start Clean, Stay Clean Program

In 1990 the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency (CEMA) developed a program, Safe from Salmonella, to reduce the risk of Salmonella in the Canadian egg supply. This program was intended to be a control program for preventing Salmonella from causing outbreaks of disease. However, after the program’s introduction, the egg industry came to realize that the same control practices used against Salmonella could be applied to other organisms that cause food-borne illness or poultry disease and from that the Start Clean, Stay Clean (SCSC) on farm food safety program was born.

Start Clean, Stay Clean is a HACCP based on farm program designed to minimize food-borne microbes during egg production through a comprehensive system of controls combined with HACCP principles. Producers are inspected annually by CEMA representatives to ensure all SCSC principles are properly applied and detailed documentation is maintained.

Copyright 2015 Rabbit River Farms