Information regarding certain labelling requirements for shell eggs during the COVID-19 pandemic
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is providing temporary flexibility with respect to compliance for certain labelling requirements for shell eggs. This will help to alleviate supply disruptions in Canadian grocery stores, and avoid food waste.
Generic egg cartons
Generic egg cartons – those cartons that do not have specific branding information on the package – can be used by the egg industry, provided there are means to identify the name of the person responsible for the food. CFIA is providing temporary compliance flexibility in how the name of the person responsible for the food can be applied.
To maintain efficient and effective traceability, egg graders using generic Canadian egg cartons must meet the following conditions:
- Graders must identify their name or grading station on the generic carton. Guidelines:
- Lot codes that include an establishment number, licence number or other identifying code, will be considered acceptable identification during the COVID-19 pandemic
- The best-before date does not provide enough information. Additional information to identify the name or grading station must be provided on the carton, either through printing or stickering
- Graders must keep documentation of the eggs sold in generic cartons. Documentation should identify and track the quantity of eggs that are packaged in the cartons, where the eggs are sent, and how the name or grading station is identified on the generic carton (code/sticker)
Eggs sold in trays at retail
Egg graders will need to meet the following labelling and documentation criteria when selling eggs on trays at retail:
- The labelling information that is required to appear on eggs sold in trays at retail can be applied to or accompany the eggs in any format and by any means (for example, a sticker, highly visible sign, leaflet). The information must be available to the consumer or final purchaser
- Egg graders must prepare and keep documentation to identify and keep track of the shell eggs to which temporary labelling compliance flexibility would apply. The documentation can include:
- the reason why labelling flexibility is required
- the purchaser of the eggs
- unique identifiers, if any
- any actions taken to prevent or minimize risk to human health
- The documentation should indicate that packaging and labelling will return to normal at the earliest opportunity and include any steps that are required to do so
Other labelling requirements still in effect
Compliance with all other labelling requirements for shell eggs continues to apply as usual.
Further updates from CFIA on the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on our COVID-19 information for industry page.
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