ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Wegmans Food Markets here dashed off a memo to its dairy departments with talking points about the chain's egg-sourcing and handling policies, in advance of the airing of the television news magazine "Dateline" April 7 regarding the alleged practice by a major egg processor in Ohio of repacking old eggs.
tice of re-running eggs, wherein damaged or out-of-code eggs returned by retailers were mixed in with new eggs for shipment to retail stores.
The story raised the possibility that many such eggs, because they are out-of-code or may not have been refrigerated properly, could contain high levels of salmonella enteriditis.
In its memo, Wegmans said, "All Wegmans eggs are produced at Wegmans Egg Farm in Wolcott, New York. We do not get eggs from any other source."
It went on to restate Wegmans egg-handling practices. Damaged (broken, cracked) eggs are thrown out at store level, while intact eggs from damaged cartons (and only those within code) are combined into complete dozens or used in stores' production departments (wokery, bakery, etc.), the memo said.
"Damaged eggs (hairline cracks) or under-grade eggs are sent from the egg farm to a breaker where they are made into liquid, pasteurized eggs," it said.
"Our eggs are Grade AA, which is determined by the interior quality of the egg (freshness, size of the air cell). We do not re-run eggs, even those well within code, because they would not meet Grade AA standards," said Wegmans in the memo.
Only about a week earlier, the chain had touted a special feature of its home-grown egg program: small-sized eggs.
In consumer literature, the chain's director of consumer affairs, MaryEllen Burris, wrote of the chain's decision to produce small eggs and tie them into its Wkids line of products.
"Lovers of small eggs couldn't find them at Wegmans. Small eggs, which come from a young chicken flock when it first starts laying, were exported from our egg farm, mostly to Hong Kong," Burris said.
"Then our chairman Bob Wegman had an idea. With current research concluding that if you're healthy, go right ahead and enjoy your eggs, small ones would be perfect for young children," she wrote.