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Operational procedure: Processed egg product inspection

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1.0 Purpose

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.

2.0 Authorities

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

4.0 Definitions

Unless specified below, definitions are located in either the:

5.0 Acronyms

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 Sampling

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

Liquid product

Frozen product

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:

Sampling After Packaging:

Dried albumen

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.



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.

6.3.2 Pour test

Pour tests are done to monitor the amount of shell or other possible extraneous material getting into egg products.


  1. A clean, sanitized edible product pail of approximately 20 litres is used to collect the sample
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. The product is then poured slowly into a second pail leaving a small amount of egg in the first pail
  5. Add 5 litres of water to the first pail and allow to stand for one hour to let any particles of shell to settle
  6. Pour water out slowly and check for shell fragments
  7. 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).

Liquid/frozen product

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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