Operational procedure: Processed egg product inspection
On this page
- 1.0 Purpose
- 2.0 Authorities
- 3.0 Reference documents
- 4.0 Definitions
- 5.0 Acronyms
- 6.0 Operational procedure
The purpose of this document is to provide Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspection staff with the procedure to verify that processed egg products are safe, wholesome and meets the requirements of the Safe Food for Canadians Act and Regulations and the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations.
This document is intended to be used in conjunction with other guidance documents as referenced in Section 3.0.
The guidance outlined below may be used when verifying compliance of an imported processed egg product, to support export certification of a processed egg product, to aid in assessment of a Preventive Control Plan (PCP) related sub-element, as part of a food safety investigation or follow-up to a complaint.
- Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA)
- Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR)
- Food and Drugs Act (FDA)
- Food and Drug Regulations (FDR)
The inspection powers, control actions and enforcement actions authorized by the above legislation are identified and explained in the Operational guideline – Food regulatory response guidelines.
3.0 Reference documents
- Canadian standards of identity: Volume 2 – Processed egg products
- Canadian grade compendium: Volume 5 – Eggs
- Standard inspection procedures (SIP)
- CFIA Sampling information (internal access only)
- Industry guidance: Preventative control recommendations for eggs and processed eggs
- Industry guidance: Regulatory requirements: Processed egg products
- Operational guideline: General principles of sampling
- Operational procedure: Shell egg product inspection
- Operational guideline: Food label verification
- Worksheet – Shell Egg Destination Report (internal access only CFIA/ACIA 1017)
Unless specified below, definitions are located in either the:
- Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: Glossary of key terms
- Integrated Agency Inspection Model (iAIM) – Glossary of terms (Annex F)
- My CFIA Glossary of terms
Acronyms are spelled out the first time they are used in this document and are consolidated in the Food business line acronyms list.
6.0 Operational procedure
6.1.1 Sampling of shell eggs at a processing establishment
Sampling plans for shell eggs at a processing establishment is under review.
6.1.2 Sampling of processed egg product
- When sampling liquid product from a production line, the samples must be collected aseptically in a sterile sample cup at appropriate intervals from the draw-off vat as pailing is in progress to spread the sampling over the entire lot. Both liquid products and products intended for freezing may be taken this way
- Final product containers that are 250 ml or less may be taken
Frozen product is sampled as a filled intact entire container, and is usually a unit of < 2 kg.
Dried yellow egg products
Yellow egg products include whole egg, yolk and mixes. Dried yolk and whole egg products are normally sampled throughout a production run.
Sampling During Packaging:
- Draw the sample from the stream of powder filling the box from the sifter into a sterile sampling bag
- Close the sample bag and store in a sanitary plastic bag
- Repeat sampling at the appropriate intervals until the required number of samples have been collected
Sampling After Packaging:
- Open the liner, avoiding contact with the inside of the liner
- Unwrap the sterile spoon and place it in the product deep enough so that it will stand on its own
- Open the sample bag
- As the product is being spooned into the bag, the bag should be held off to one side of the open box so that if any product spills it does not fall back into the box. Also, the bag should be open enough so that neither the spoon nor the product touches the edges of the opening
- Once the required amount is drawn, the excess air is expelled from the sample bag by gently squeezing the side together at the top of the bag
- Close the sample bag by holding it by both tabs and whirling it until there is no air space left
- Close the sample liner and draw the next sample
- When sampling is completed, place samples in a sanitary plastic bag pending shipment
Dried Albumen is considered a finished product only after being removed from the heat treatment room after a specified time and temperature as prescribed in licensed operators validated time and temperature procedures.
Select the required number of samples at random as the lot of dried albumen is removed from the heat treatment room or held in storage.
Sampling procedures will be the same as for yellow products sampled after packaging.
6.2 Inspection of shell eggs intended for further processing
All grades of shell eggs (Canada A, B, C, Canada Nest Run) as well as ungraded eggs may be used to produce processed egg products provided processes are in place to bring Canada Nest Run and ungraded eggs to the requirements found in SFCR 102. Further information on how industry can meet this requirement is provided in Regulatory requirements: Processed egg products.
The procedure for inspection of shell eggs intended for further processing can be found in the Destination Inspection section of the Operational procedure: Shell egg product inspection.
6.3 Types of processed egg product analyses
The following types of analyses are performed to ensure that processed egg products meet the standards in the Canadian standards of identity: Volume 2 – Processed eggs products, the FDA and the FDR.
6.3.1 Organoleptic evaluation of liquid egg
Off odours may be the result of spoilage or contamination from a foreign substance. Organoleptic evaluation is conducted prior to unloading of bulk containers and tankers of liquid egg.
- Open the lid of the tanker and smell the liquid egg to determine if the odour is normal for liquid egg or if the odour is off
- In stations that store liquid egg in silos, dispense egg from the spigot on the silo into a sterile inspection cup and perform the odour evaluation
Tanks of egg that are only partially full will produce a stronger odour. The air space above the liquid will trap the odour thus producing a stronger smell. Tanks of liquid egg that have developed a layer of foam must also be carefully assessed to assure the liquid is being evaluated and not the foam. The foam layer on top of the liquid egg is exposed to the warmer airspace in the tank and is not being agitated to the same extent as the liquid in the tank.
- If an off odour is detected in a tank of liquid egg, obtain two sterile sample cups for the evaluation
- The first sample of liquid should be taken from the top of the tank making every effort to exclude foam
- The second sample should be taken from the valve of the tank generally located at the bottom of the tank. When sampling from the valve, it is important to flush several litres of egg through the valve before taking the sample. This allows for any stale product in the valve and tank port to be flushed out
- These two samples should be taken to a non-processing area of the station which is free of any odours, for a second odour evaluation. Generally this evaluation should be done in an office that is well away from the processing area
- If an off odour is detected from the liquid in the cups, other available egg product Inspectors or the Inspection Supervisor may also evaluate the liquid in the cups. The quality assurance manager or licenced operator should also evaluate the samples of liquid in the cups
- When the off odour is only detected in the foam and not the liquid egg product in the samples of liquid in the two sample cups, the licenced operator is given permission to draw and process the liquid egg from the tank but must stop drawing liquid out of the tank before any foam can be introduced into the product line
- If the decision is made that the liquid egg has an off odour and cannot be used for human consumption, the product is detained and the licenced operator is asked to isolate the tank of product by disconnecting any pipes which would allow the product to be processed with edible product
- If the off odour product is in a stainless steel tanker, the licenced operator must advise the CFIA what they want to do with the load
6.3.2 Pour test
Pour tests are done to monitor the amount of shell or other possible extraneous material getting into egg products.
- A clean, sanitized edible product pail of approximately 20 litres is used to collect the sample
- Samples should be collected after the filter but prior to the chill press or if there is no chill press, prior to the holding tank. Whole egg, yolk, or albumen may be selected
- Fill the pail half full with product. The pail is then lidded, labelled and placed in a cooler for a minimum of four hours (preferably overnight for yolk) to let any particles of shell to settle
- The product is then poured slowly into a second pail leaving a small amount of egg in the first pail
- Add 5 litres of water to the first pail and allow to stand for one hour to let any particles of shell to settle
- Pour water out slowly and check for shell fragments
- If large particles or any significant amounts of shell are present that may be an extraneous material concern, notify the licenced operator to immediately to take corrective actions. Guidance on evaluating extraneous materials is found in the Operational guideline: General principles of sampling
6.3.3 Ingredient and additive verification
Domestic and imported processed egg products are inspected to ensure that they comply with the food composition, and ingredient and additive (if applicable) declaration provisions of the FDA and FDR. Refer to the Operational guideline: Label verification.
6.3.4 Label verification
It is recommended that a full label verification be done at the same time as the ingredient and additive check. Please refer to the Operational guideline: Label verification.
6.3.5 Standards of composition verification
Standards of composition for processed eggs are found in the FDR and the Canadian standards of identity: Volume 2 – Processed egg products. Egg product sampling guidance for composition verification can be found at CFIA Sampling information (internal access only).
Whole egg or whole egg mixes, yolk and yolk mixes (liquid/frozen) are sampled for percent solids.
If a sample of yolk or whole egg mix is taken for solids, the percent of salt/sugar must be removed from the totals solids in order to get the percent of egg solids. This is done by applying the following formula:
(% total solids – % added salt/sugar) ÷ 100% – % added salt/sugar = % total egg solids
If a product fails to meet the standards set out in the regulations for solids/moisture, the lot fails and the product is detained. Averaging with previous lots is not permitted.
For general inquiries related to this Operational Guidance Document, please follow established communication channels, including submitting an electronic Request for Action Form (e-RAF).
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