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Regulatory requirements: Eggs

Although the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into force on January 15, 2019, other requirements will be introduced in 2020 and 2021 based on food commodity, type of activity and business size. For more information, refer to the SFCR timelines.

On this page

1.0 Introduction

While the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) include a set of general requirements that apply to a broad range of foods, there are some requirements that apply only to certain foods. This document provides an overview of the regulatory requirements specific to eggs found in Part 6, Division 3 of the SFCR.

2.0 Application

The requirements specific to eggs in Part 6, Division 3 of the SFCR apply to eggs that

3.0 Pasteurization of eggs in the shell

Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: Subsections 95(1) and (2)

Rationale

Pasteurization of eggs in the shell is a relatively new technology. In fact, Health Canada considers eggs pasteurized in the shell to be novel foodsFootnote 1. Pasteurizing eggs in the shell graded Canada A or Grade A, the highest quality eggs, helps to ensure that the pasteurization process is adequate and effective, thus minimizing risks to human health.

What this means for your food business

To help you understand these requirements, specific criteria are outlined below. In addition, key terms throughout the text have been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

Subsection 95(1): Pasteurization of eggs in the shell in Canada

The Canadian Grade Compendium is incorporated by reference into the SFCR.

Subsection 95(2): Importing eggs that were pasteurized in the shell

The Canadian Grade Compendium is incorporated by reference into the SFCR.

4.0 Import, removal and interprovincial trade of shell eggs

Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: Subsection 95(2) to section 99

Rationale

Shell eggs have the potential to contain hazards that could pose a risk to human health. Due to the nature of an egg, and keeping in mind that they are produced on farm, it is normal that some eggs may be cracked or have dirty shells, both of which increase the risks to human health. The SFCR sets requirements for the import of eggs to reduce the risks to human health by ensuring that eggs imported into Canada meet the same requirements as the eggs produced in Canada.

In addition, restricting the movement of some types of eggs (for example, those that may contain cracked or dirty shells) plays an important role in reducing the risks to human health by ensuring that the eggs are sent to appropriate establishments for grading or processing, as required. This prevents them from inadvertently entering the table egg market.

What this means for your food business

To help you understand these requirements, specific criteria are outlined below. In addition, key terms throughout the text have been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

  • For additional information on requirements for importing eggs refer to Food imports.

Section 96: Foreign official document

  • If you have a licence to import, you may import eggs if you provide the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspector with an official document, issued by the responsible government official in the exporting country, stating that the eggs meet the requirements of the Safe Food for Canadians Act and the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations.
  • The official document is in a form approved by the CFIA.

Section 97: Importing Grade C or Grade Nest Run eggs

Subsection 98(1): Importing ungraded eggs

  • If you are importing ungraded eggs:
    • before the import, you notify the CFIA, in writing, of
      • the quantity of eggs you will be importing
      • the date of import of the eggs
      • the name of the licence holder to whom the eggs will be delivered
      • the address of the establishment where the eggs will be delivered
    • you make sure the eggs are packaged in a container labelled with the expression "Ungraded Eggs" or "œufs non-classifiés"
    • you make sure the eggs are delivered directly to an establishment where they are processed and treated by a licence holder

Subsection 98(2): Removal of imported, ungraded eggs from a processing and treating establishment

  • If you are a licence holder who processes and treats eggs, any imported, ungraded eggs that were delivered directly to your establishment do not leave your establishment unless they have been
    • processed and treated at your establishment, or
    • delivered directly to another establishment where they will be processed and treated by a licence holder

Subsection 99(1): Interprovincial trade of eggs

  • You send or convey from one province or territory to another the following eggs, only if you deliver them to an establishment where eggs are processed and treated by a licence holder
    • eggs graded Canada A or Canada B that have been declared surplus and bear a dye mark
    • eggs graded Canada C
    • imported eggs graded Grade C or Grade Nest Run
    • imported, ungraded eggs are imported in a manner that meets the requirements of subsection 98(1)

Subsection 99(2): Interprovincial trade of Nest Run eggs

  • You send or convey from one province or territory to another eggs that are graded Canada Nest Run only if you deliver them to an establishment where they are either
    • graded by a licence holder, or
    • processed and treated by a licence holder

Subsection 99(3): Interprovincial trade of ungraded eggs

  • Despite subsection 306(1) of the SFCR, which requires eggs sent or conveyed from one province or territory to another be graded, you may send or convey from one province or territory to another ungraded eggs if they
    • are not categorized as "rejected" as a result of having been graded
    • are not imported
    • are packaged in a container that is labelled with the words "Ungraded Eggs" or "œufs non classifiés"
    • will be delivered directly to an establishment where they will be either graded or processed and treated by a licence holder

5.0 Applying ink to an egg's shell

Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: Section 100

Rationale

Ink or dye is used to mark the shell of eggs declared as surplus. It is also used to apply markings that can be used to identify and track eggs and to provide other types of information about the egg; for example, an "omega-3" marking on eggs that are a source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Since eggs move very quickly through egg grading systems, fast-drying ink helps to prevent smearing of the marking, which could make the marking unreadable. Inks that are fast-drying and cannot be erased or washed away also help to ensure that the markings remain legible throughout the egg's shelf life. Inks that are proven to be safe will prevent injury to human health.

What this means for your food business

To help you understand this requirement, specific criteria and examples are outlined below. The examples are not exhaustive but help illustrate the intent of the requirement and offer examples of what you could do to comply. In addition, key terms throughout the text have been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

Section 100

  • A licence holder may apply ink to an egg's shell if the ink
    • is fast-drying
    • cannot be erased or washed away
    • does not present a risk of injury to human health
Examples:

6.0 Sending plastic trays to an egg producer

Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: Section 101

Rationale

Plastic trays sent to egg producers may contain hazards that could pose a risk to human health. Plastic trays that have been cleaned, sanitized and dried by a licence holder before being sent to an egg producer will prevent injury to human health.

What this means for your food business

To help you understand this requirement, specific criteria are outlined below. In addition, key terms throughout the text have been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

Section 101

  • A licence holder can send plastic trays to an egg producer if, before sending the plastic trays, the licence holder
    • cleans them
    • sanitizes them
    • dries them
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