Burnbrae Farm Tour: Getting Up Close & Personal With Eggs #BBFFarmTour

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Do you remember when I shared my excitement about visiting Burnbrae farm? Well, the visit happened last week and it was beyond my expectations . I was looking forward to touching a chicken, learning about eggs and having some fresh air. I got all that and more!

Let me start the journey from the beginning. I took the train from Montreal to Brockville. It is a 2 hour train ride. One of the Burnbrae employees picked me up from the train station. While I was waiting for the other bloggers to come from Toronto, I had a nice chat with one of Burnbrae owners. He was so friendly and humble. Burnbrae is one of the largest egg farms in Canada and the owner took the time to chat with me.  I loved that he was so down to earth, even though he’s the owner of such a well-known farm!

As soon as the other 11 bloggers arrived, we had a delicious meal prepared by Chef Seth. Check out this meal, doesn’t it look delicious?

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After eating, we started the Burnbrae Farm plant tour. We were allowed to ask all the questions we wanted!

Highlights of my Burnbrae Farm Tour

  • When I was planning my trip, I did not expect to visit such a high-tech plant. You know when you have some misconceptions: family business = not very developed. I was wrong. The plant had lots of machine from blood detecting machines, to grading machines and washing ones. I was really impressed!

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  • The plant could process 13,000 dozen in an hour. That’s a lot of eggs!!

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  • The eggs had trace-back eggs that could trace back to the plant (It is impossible to trace back to the chicken). The farm had 300,000 hens so I totally understand.
  • Eggs are weighed and those that have blood (with the blood detector machines) are removed from the system. If you’ve ever cracked an egg and found blood in it, you know how fast it ruins your appetite. Burnbrae Farms takes extra care to make sure that doesn’t happen.
  • There are 3 housing systems: conventional, free run and enriched. You can check the details on the Burnbrae farm website. The free run is very expensive to run as it requires more human intervention. I will stick to the conventional eggs.
  • In North America, we wash the eggs. It removes a protective barrier and that’s why we need to refrigerate the eggs once washed. The other countries do not wash the eggs.

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The farm tour was very informative and honestly, I did not think that a simple egg required that much handling before arriving to the store. Who knew!

The Burnbrae family was so welcoming to us. They opened their home for us and we were spoiled with an exquisite dinner and an amazing view.
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I had the chance to pet a hen and I was invited to ride a horse but I was too scared (or too chicken) to do so BUT I took a selfie (or felfie!) with the horse. (Don’t pay attention to that frizzy hair, I forgot my hair products at home)
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Want to learn more about Burnbrae Farms? Check them out on on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

What Burnbrae Farm fact from my tour surprised you the most to learn?

Disclosure: I am participating in the Burnbrae Farms Blogger Farm Tour program as a guest of Burnbrae Farms. All opinions are 100% my own.

73 thoughts on “Burnbrae Farm Tour: Getting Up Close & Personal With Eggs #BBFFarmTour”

  1. Hi Olfa,
    I am Niyati from TripHobo.com. We have a section on our website called “Hobos We Admire”. After going through your blog, I feel you have that hoboness in you and would love to feature you on our website. Do let me know if you are interested 🙂 I can be reached at niyati.shinde@joguru.com.

    Happy Travelling to you!

  2. Bailey Dexter

    I love it when you meet a owner of a company and they are just down to earth, that said you know that the company is like a family! Thanks for sharing your time out there, I enjoyed reading.

  3. Wow, what a wonderful and interesting experience. Amazing how many eggs they can process in an hour! Looks like it was a lot of fun and there was much to be learned.

  4. Nena Sinclair

    What an impressive operation! I buy Burnrae eggs all the time. Sound like you had a wonderful experience there! I would love to have ridden the horse! 🙂

  5. I love this post! So much awesome information. I would absolutely love to see you do more posts like this! I know it’s not always up to you, but these are the kinds of posts I love to read. Did they happen to share the recipes for the meal? 😉

  6. Christy Martin

    I had no idea about the egg washing or that there was such a thing as a blood detector – or that it was even an issue!

  7. nicolthepickle

    I knew about the washing eggs here, but I didn’t know it was connected to refrigeration. Good to know!

  8. I didn’t know about blood in eggs. I did know that other countries didn’t wash their eggs. It’s really gross to see poop on eggs.

  9. I love eggs, the blood thing freaks me out a bit though…I have seen that a few times over the years and yes when that happens your appetitive is gone…

  10. I liked your Burnbrae Farm Tour: Getting Up Close & Personal With Eggs #BBFFarmTour post.
    It would be a great place to visit.

  11. I didn’t realize there was a machine to detect blood in eggs. I’ve cracked eggs that had small bits of blood in them before (not burnbrae brand) and nothing turns my stomach and causes me to lose my appetite more than that.

  12. I new about the machine to detect blood but never have seen any in their eggs, have gotten it quite often when I buy from the farmers market

  13. Wow looks like an amazing farm! We love Burnbrae and buy their eggs all the time. Would love to visit with the kids someday!

  14. the blood detecting machine fact was interesting, explains why we only get the best eggs from Burnbrae

  15. Belinda McNabb

    Thanks for all the wonderful info. So much goes into getting the eggs to us! I never knew there was such a thing as blood detector machines

  16. eggcellent review! i didn’t know about about the washing of eggs and refridgeration part! Would love totour an egg farm!

  17. I really would like to have seen pictures of the hen operations, but thanks for the over view. The dinner looks great!

  18. Egg Washing

    Is washing of eggs recommended?
    No, because washing may aid the transfer of harmful bacteria like Salmonella from the outside to the inside of the egg.

    The priority in egg production is to produce clean eggs at the point of collection, rather than trying to clean them afterwards. The cleanliness of the egg should be assured by good management and hygiene of the poultry house, and by minimising the delay between egg laying and egg collection.

    What are the risks associated with washing eggs?
    Egg laying poultry (e.g. hens, ducks, geese) can be infected with Salmonella and other harmful microorganisms. Salmonella bacteria cause sickness, and in some people the illness can be severe and life-threatening. If egg laying poultry are infected with Salmonella, they can shed these bacteria in their faeces. If care is not taken in egg production, then the eggs can become soiled with faeces – and therefore Salmonella can be found on the shell. During washing, the natural barriers in the shell can be compromised and Salmonella may pass into the inside of the egg where it has the opportunity to grow. Sometimes, Salmonella can grow to very high numbers inside eggs and if these eggs are not cooked thoroughly (e.g. in the case of runny fried or boiled eggs or in desserts such meringue or tiramisu) the Salmonella survive and cause consumers to get sick.

    What are the risks associated with not washing eggs?
    Salmonella can survive for a long time in dried faeces on the outside of eggs. This presents two risks. Firstly, if eggs are stored incorrectly and condensation forms on the shell, the water may be sufficient to allow Salmonella to pass into the inside of the egg through the pores in the shell. This risk increases over the storage time, as the natural barriers of the egg start to break down with increasing age of the egg. Condensation on the outside of eggs also increases the chance that Salmonella on the shell may grow. Secondly, during handling and preparation of dirty eggs, direct hand-to-mouth contamination can occur, or other foods may be cross-contaminated from hands, dirty discarded shells, or during the action of cracking the egg.

    What if my eggs are dirty and my customer demands clean eggs?
    Remember egg washing is not recommended because Salmonella can move into the inside of the egg through pores in the shell, increasing the risk to consumers. Try to explain this to your customer and get agreement to accept unwashed eggs.

    There is an increased risk of Salmonella transmission from the outside to the inside of eggs during washing. These risks can be multiplied several-fold by poor washing practice. For example, if soiled eggs are left uncollected for a few hours after laying, and/or if they are left to soak in wash water, then there is more time for the Salmonella to pass through the shell into the egg. Additionally, if the washing water is not at least 11oC above the temperature of the egg, then Salmonella can be sucked into the egg through the pores in the shell. Even after washing, if eggs are not dried quickly and completely before storage then there is more chance of Salmonella penetrating the shell. The use of chemical detergents or sanitisers in the wash water may not help, because some chemicals may actually increase the porosity of the shell making it easier for Salmonella to cross the shell barrier.

    Getting egg washing right to avoid all these increased risks is not simple, and for that reason it is much safer not to wash them at all, but to concentrate on good husbandry, and the production of eggs that are clean in the first place

  19. I’ve had the good fortune to tour an egg farm as well. It was a really neat experience and one I would like my 3 year old son to experience as well.

  20. Lovely Farm. The blood detection is a great thing. You don’t see that much in eggs anymore. I remember when growing up and have to throw away eggs because of blood in them/

  21. I would have loved to go on a tour at Burnbrae Farm. I love the photos, especially the one with the horse. So adorable.

  22. 13000 eggs processed in an hour! That’s wild! Sounds like a grade A tour – would love to see something like this too!

  23. Carol Ann Westbook

    Blood in eggs? I never knew this could happen. I was amazed to read there was a machine to detect this condition.

  24. I love farms. We live in the midst of a bunch of farms here in Oklahoma and we go to the farms every fall for all of their fun events. It looks like you had a really good time.

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