Hen Care

Egg farmers care about their hens and know healthy and well-cared for hens produce safe, nutritious, quality eggs. The UEP Certified program includes many critically important animal welfare standards.


Egg Laying

In cage-free houses, nest boxes facilitate egg collection, minimize hen pecking and keep eggs from litter. The nest is covered by a flap, and the dark environment encourages egg lay.



Eggs are gathered promptly after laying. Immediate separation from the hen’s environment provides a cleaner, safer egg.



Eggs on the conveyor belt go to the processing room, where they are washed and inspected. On most farms, eggs are handled by machines instead of human hands to decrease potential damage and exposure to contaminants.



Eggs are candled over a light source that allows defects to become visible. Flawed eggs are removed.


UEP Certified Cage-Free Seal

Eggs from UEP Certified Cage-Free farms are marked with this seal, an assurance that hens are raised under rigorous standards for care.


Sorting and Packing

Eggs to be sold are sized, packaged and stored in a refrigerated room.


Farm to Store

Eggs are shipped off the farm in refrigerated trucks and typically are in the store within a week of being laid.


In the Store

Eggs are displayed in refrigerated cases in grocery stores. When kept refrigerated, fresh shell eggs are safe to be consumed four to five weeks beyond the date they were packed, which is Julian date found on the carton’s short end.


At Home

Eggs are handled carefully on farms and in the stores to ensure safety. It’s also important to properly store, handle and prepare eggs at home. Visit UEP’s Egg Safety Center for egg safety tips and FAQs.