shell egg handling - Egg Industry Center

shell egg handling - Egg Industry Center

SHELL EGG HANDLING GUIDELINES FOR FOOD MANUFACTURERS If you choose to hand-break shell eggs in your facility, keep in mind the following food safety ...

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GUIDELINES FOR FOOD MANUFACTURERS If you choose to hand-break shell eggs in your facility, keep in mind the following food safety guidelines and regulatory requirements per the egg breaking information outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations 9CFR 590.522 and the Egg Products Inspection Act ( We also suggest contacting your local state health department for additional shell egg handling guidelines that may apply to your state.


Before beginning to break eggs

• All individuals breaking eggs must wash their hands thoroughly with odorless soap and hot water each time they begin breaking eggs. Hands must be dried with single-use paper towels. Cloth towels are not permitted. All individuals should wear food-safe gloves during egg breaking operations. Gloves should be changed every 4 hours or more often, if they become torn, dirty or contaminated. • The egg breaking area must be kept dust-free, and free from flies, insects and rodents. The floor must be kept clean and reasonably dry during breaking operations.

OPERATIONS How to break eggs

• Each shell egg must be individually broken into a small cup or vessel in a sanitary manner to minimize contact between the exterior shell surface and the edible portion of the egg.

• Shell particles, meat and blood spots and other foreign material accidentally falling into the breaking cups shall be removed with a clean spoon or other clean utensil. • Whenever an inedible egg is broken, the affected breaking equipment must be cleaned and sanitized. The contents of any cup or other liquid egg receptacle containing one or more inedible eggs must be disposed of. • Do not pool together multiple eggs with intact shells into a mechanical device to break them. This practice poses a food safety risk and does not allow examination of the internal contents of eggs on an individual basis. • All equipment must be rotated with clean and sanitized equipment every 2 ½ hours. • Per the Egg Products Inspection Act administered by the USDA and FDA, you are required to break only clean, sound shell eggs. Break only graded eggs. Do not break nest-run or ungraded eggs. • Discard any eggs with broken shells.


• The content of each egg must be visually examined for imperfections prior to being emptied into the storage container.

See reverse side for HANDLING — How to use and store eggs



How to use and store eggs

• Wash utensils, equipment and work areas with hot, soapy water before and after contact with eggs. • Per USDA/FSIS, store shell eggs and liquid eggs (eggs removed from their shell) at 40° F (4.4° C) or below, do not freeze. • Per USDA/FSIS CFR 590.530, Liquid eggs (eggs removed from their shell) held for 8 hours or less must be stored at 45° F (7.2° C) or below, 40° F (4.4° C) or below if stored in excess of 8 hours. Do not freeze. Compliance with temperature requirements applied to liquid eggs shall be considered as satisfactory only if the entire mass of the liquid egg meets the requirements within 2 hours of breaking. • Don’t keep shell eggs and liquid eggs out of the refrigerator more than 2 hours. • Per USDA requirements, liquid eggs must only be used at the location where the shell eggs were broken. Liquid eggs cannot be transported to another bakery or food preparation facility. • Break eggs on a daily basis; break only enough eggs to accommodate the day’s production needs. • Refrigerate liquid eggs in covered stainless steel containers for no more than one day. Dispose of any unused liquid eggs. • Do not add liquid eggs to containers of eggs that were broken on a different day. • Adjustments to cooking/baking time may be needed to assure finished products are heated to a minimum internal temperature of 160° F (71.1° C).

Glossary: Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) — An annual codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the federal government. Egg Products Inspection Act — The Egg Products Inspection Act assures that eggs and egg products distributed and consumed by the public are wholesome, not adulterated, and properly labeled and packaged. Passed by Congress in 1970, the Egg Products Inspection Act is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which imposes specific inspection requirements for two categories of eggs — shell eggs and egg products. Per the Egg Products Inspection Act, you are required to break only clean, sound shell eggs. Break only graded eggs that meet U.S. Grade B or better standards. Do not break nest-run or ungraded eggs. If caught breaking eggs outside the requirements of the Egg Products Inspection Act, you could be inspected by USDA/AMS and could face civil penalties if repeated violations occur. USDA/FSIS — United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service USDA/AMS — United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service Clean & Sound Shell Eggs — Any egg with a shell free of adhering dirt or foreign material and that is not cracked or broken. Inedible Eggs — Eggs of the following descriptions: black rots, yellow rots, white rots, mixed rots (addled eggs), sour eggs, eggs with green whites, eggs with stuck yolks, moldy eggs, musty eggs, eggs showing blood rings, and eggs containing embryo chicks (at or beyond the blood ring stage). Nest-Run Eggs — Eggs that have not been washed, sized and candled for quality. Ungraded Eggs — Eggs that have not been candled for quality. Initially, this quality check was done by holding a candle behind an egg. Today most eggs pass on rollers over high-intensity lights, which make the interior of the egg visible. The size of the air cell and distinctness of the yolk outline are inspected. Eggs with imperfections, such as cracked shells or blood spots, would be visible during candling and would be removed prior to packaging.

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