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Shell Eggs

When eggs are packed under the USDA Grading Program, a shield-shaped USDA grademark is printed on the carton. The grademark assures that: The eggs comply with the official grade and size marked on the carton, the egg packer meets USDA's sanitary standards, and the eggs were packed under the supervision of a Federal/State grader who checks samples of the eggs before they are shipped to the retailer.

Egg Packers who do not use the USDA grading service may put terms such as "Grade A" on their cartons, but they may not use the shield-shaped USDA Grade mark. Virginia egg processors utilizing the USDA Grading Program are monitored by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services federally licensed employees.

U.S. Quality Standards - Conditions of the White and Yolk

egg quality scale