Catering eggs are a nice way to call B grade eggs something else. These eggs are usually oddly shaped or have odd marks and calcium build up on the egg shells. There is nothing wrong with the eggs themselves – they are good to eat – especially if the are free range eggs or organic eggs – it is just that they do not look nice – and when the public buy eggs they want eggs that look good.
Free range catering eggs are usually from hens that are older and are about to stop laying productively. Hens that have had a disease in their early life can also produce odd looking eggs – although these are also fine to eat. Good looking grade A eggs come from younger birds who are in their prime and have had no health problems.. When the chicken is older or the chicken has had a previous infection, it can cause the egg shells to look odd or deformed. Bakers generally prefer cheaper eggs as they do not mind how they look – although they will generally want to use a large size egg as opposed to extra large eggs, medium eggs or small eggs. This is because most baking recipes ask for a large size egg in the recipe. They will also want to use fresh eggs – older eggs, especially for baking purposes, do not give the required lift and fluffiness that is needed for some fancy recipes. Oder eggs, when cracked open, will be sloppy and loose – both the egg white and the egg yellow. Fresh eggs will be firm and perky. This can make a difference to the end result of the cake or meringue – or just about any baked product. Restaurants and bed and breakfast establishment will ask for extra large eggs if they are serving breakfast – and even jumbo size free range eggs – they will need to be fresh eggs as appearance is everything when one sits down to a fried egg, a poached egg or a boiled egg. If they are being used in the kitchen where the customer cannot see them then a slightly older egg can be used in cooking.
Whilst many catering companies do not use catering eggs – they prefer a grade A free range egg over cage eggs. If the food you are eating says organic – and eggs have been used in the baking or cooking process, then the eggs would have had to have been organic eggs. In fact every bit of food in the recipe would have to have come from an organic farm or process. Catering eggs are usually a lot cheaper than grade A eggs. Grade A eggs are kept for the public. and for eating establishments that serve eggs for a meal. Eggs with dirt on them are also downgraded – this is a pity because in a free range environment or an organic environment, the eggs are very likely going to get some mud or dirt on the shell. The chicken produces an egg shell that is naturally protective – and because people are so fussy, egg producers will often wash the eggs – this is not good as it destroys the eggs natural properties that in fact protect the inside of the egg. Humans desire for perfection results in higher prices and harm to the chickens. An egg producer is more likely to end the hens life if the eggs are not up to what the public expects – and that expectation is driven by appearance – not nutritional value or common sense. A caged bird, or a hens raised in a battery cage will lay eggs that cannot get mud on them simply because they cannot range freely – what a pathetic excuse to keep hens in layer cages! Forget the fact that a caged hen will also only eat mass produced feed – with no fresh food or vegetables like a free range or organic hen.