Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cracks, dirts sold as Grade A eggs

Cracked and dirty eggs continued to be packed into retail-ready Grade A cartons by Gray Ridge Eggs last year.

The information is detailed in reports released by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in response to an application under the Access to Information system.

I obtained a copy of the documents released to the applicant, which was somebody else.

Gray Ridge has been revealed before to be packaging cracked and dirty eggs in Grade A retail cartons as documented in Canadian Food Inspection Agency reports I have obtained for several previous years.

It is accused, along with Burnbrae Farms Ltd., of cheating on Grade A standards in a lawsuit filed by Svante Linde of Best Choice Eggs who alleges that the two dominant egg-grading companies conspired with the Egg Farmers of Ontario marketing board to drive him out of the egg-grading business.

The allegations have yet to be tested in court and both companies deny any wrongdoing.

Another set of documents indicate Lashbrook Produce of Elmira, a processor owned by L.H. Gray and Son Ltd., was both importing truckloads of ungraded eggs and exporting tanker loads of processed eggs.

The typical import shipment was 1440 dozen ungraded eggs. The exports where in stainless steel tanker trucks.

During 2008, L.H. Gray and Son Ltd. also imported truckloads of graded U.S. eggs to its grading station at Listowel.

The imports were particularly heavy during the summer of 2008, but they continued right to the end of the year, including one shipment of 1,505 dozen eggs on Dec. 30. Most truckloads were 1,500 dozen eggs.

The importing of graded eggs continued into 2009 and 2010.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency does not reveal who made the original application for the documents.

All of the imported eggs and processed eggs moving to the U.S. passed inspection.

One incoming load of organic eggs, probably from a Canadian source, flunked inspection because there were too many cracked and dirty eggs. That shipment in December, 2008, totaled 127.5 dozen brown eggs.