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Regulatory requirements: Eggs

Although the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into force on January 15, 2019, certain requirements may apply 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

Section 97: Importing Grade C or Grade Nest Run eggs

Subsection 98(1): Importing ungraded eggs

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

Subsection 99(1): Interprovincial trade of eggs

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

Subsection 99(3): Interprovincial trade of ungraded eggs

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

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

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