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2010-2011 Milk and Egg in Beer


The Food Safety Action Plan (FSAP) aims to modernize and enhance Canada's food safety system. As part of the FSAP enhanced surveillance initiative, targeted surveys are used to evaluate various foods for specific hazards.

The main objective of this survey was:

  • To obtain baseline information regarding the presence and levels of milk and egg in beer;
  • To identify potential food safety concerns relating to the presence of milk and egg in beer.

The production of alcoholic beverages may include the use of fining agents. Milk and egg may be used as fining agents in some alcoholic beverages, like wine, to improve the clarity, as well as, to enhance the palatability of alcoholic beverages prior to filtration and bottling. It should be noted that the use of milk- and egg-based fining agents in standardized beer is not permitted as per the Food and Drugs Regulations B.02.130.

A total of 196 samples of beer were analysed for milk (casein and beta-lactoglobulin) and egg. The samples consisted of different beer styles including, but not limited to, pale lagers, pilsners, dark lagers, porters, and stouts. One sample analysed had very low detectable levels of the milk protein (beta-lactoglobulin). The remaining samples had no measurable levels of milk or egg protein.

Standardized beer is exempted from labelling the ingredients used to make the beverage. As such, any allergens are also exempted from declaration on the beer labels under the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations (FDAR) B01.008 (2).

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