Agriculture and Food - Regulatory Services - Grading and Inspection of Shell Eggs with Standard Grade and Weight Classes

Published: 2014-05-08

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R70. Agriculture and Food, Regulatory Services.
R70-410. Grading and Inspection of Shell Eggs with Standard Grade and Weight Classes.
R70-410-1. Authority.
(1) Promulgated under authority of Section 4-4-2.
(2) Large Egg Producers with more than 3,000 laying hens shall adhere to R70-410-2 and R70-410-3 rules and:
(a) Adopt by reference: The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food hereby adopts and incorporates by reference the applicable provisions of the regulations issued by the United States Department of Agriculture for grading and inspection of shell eggs and the Standards, 7 CFR Part 56, January 1, 2005 edition, 21 CFR, 1 through 200, April 1, 2003 edition; 9 CFR 590, January 1, 2005 edition; and 7 CFR 59, January 1, 2005 edition.
(3) Small Egg Producers with less than 3,000 laying hens shall adhere to R70-410 sections 2-4 rules.
R70-410-2. Handling and Disposition of Restricted Eggs.
(1) Restricted eggs shall be disposed of by one of the following methods at point and time of segregation:
(a) Checks and dirties must be shipped to an official egg breaking plant for further processing to egg products. Dirties may be shipped to a shell egg plant for cleaning. Checks and dirties may not be sold to restaurants, bakeries and food manufacturers, not to consumers, unless such sales are specifically exempted by Section 15 of the Federal Egg Products Inspection Act and not prohibited by State Law.
(b) Leakers, loss and inedible eggs must be destroyed for human food purposes at the grading station or point of segregation by one of the methods listed below:
(i) Discarded and intermingled with refuse such as shells, papers, trash, etc.
(ii) Processed into an industrial product or animal food at the grading station.
(iii) Denatured or de-characterized with an approved denaturant. (Such product shipped under government supervision and received under government supervision at a plant making industrial products or animal food need not be denatured or de-characterized prior to shipment.)
(iv) Leakers, loss and inedible eggs may be shipped in shell form provided they are properly labeled and denatured by adding FD and C color to the shell or by applying a substance that will penetrate the shell and de-characterize the egg meat.
(c) Incubator rejects (eggs which have been subjected to incubation) may not be moved in shell form and must be crushed and denatured or de-characterized at point and time of removal from incubation.
(d) Blood type loss which has not diffused into the albumen may be moved to an official egg products plant in shell form without adding FD and C color to the shell provided they are properly labeled and moved directly to the egg products plant.
(e) Containers used for eggs not intended for human consumption must be labeled with the word "inedible" on the outside of the container.
(f) Other methods of disposition may be used only when approved by the Commissioner.
R70-410-3. Packaging.
(1) It is unlawful for anyone to pack eggs into a master container which does not bear all required labeling, including responsible party, or to transport or sell eggs in such container.
(2) Any person who, without prior authorization, acquires possession of a master container which bears a brand belonging to someone else shall, at his own expense, return such container to the registered owner within 30 days.
R70-410-4. Small Egg Producer Rules.
(a) This Section is for Shell Egg Producers who intend to wholesale eggs and are USDA Exempt (flocks of 3,000 or fewer hens). The requirements are basic in design and cost in order enable the 3,000 or fewer hen egg producers to put shell eggs into commerce while maintaining Good Manufacturing Practices. It is understood that as the egg production increases, the complexity of the operation may increase and require additional facilities and/or equipment to maintain Good Manufacturing Practices.
(a) "Case" means when referring to containers, an egg case as used in commercial practice in the United States, holding thirty dozen shell eggs.
(b) "Plant" means any building, machinery, apparatus or fixture, used for the storing, grading of packing of shell eggs.
(c) "Potable water" means water that has been approved by the State Department of Health, or any agency or laboratory acceptable to the Commissioner of Agriculture as safe for drinking and food processing.
(d) "Premises" means a tract of land with building or part of building with its grounds or appurtenances.
(e) "Product" or "products" means shell eggs of domesticated chicken.
(f) "Shell eggs" means intact shell eggs of domesticated chickens.
(g) "Shell protected" means eggs which have had a protective covering such as oil applied to the shell surface.
(h) "Dirty" means an individual egg that has an unbroken shell with adhering dirt or foreign material, prominent stains, or moderate stains covering more than one-thirty-second of the shell surface if localized, or one-sixteenth of the shell surface if scattered.
(i) "Check" means an individual egg that has a broken shell or a crack in the shell, but its shell membranes are intact and its contents do not leak.
(j) "Leaker" means an individual egg that has a crack or break in the shell and shell membranes to the extent that the egg contents are exuding or free to exude through the shell.
(k) "Loss" means an egg that is inedible, cooked, frozen, contaminated, sour, musty, or an egg that contains a large blood spot, large meat spot, bloody white, green white, rot, stuck yolk, blood ring, embryo chick (at or beyond the blood ring state), free yolk in the white, or other foreign material.
(l) "Restricted" means eggs classified as checks, dirties, incubator rejects, inedibles, leakers and loss.
(a) Small Egg Producers who intend to wholesale eggs shall obtain a small egg producer license in accordance with the fee schedule determined by the department and approved by the legislature pursuant to U.C.A 4-2-2(2).
(a) Establish a designated work area separate from domestic living areas.
(i) Acceptable designated work areas may be an area in the basement, garage, or outbuilding.
(ii) Unacceptable work areas are domestic living areas, kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms.
(b) The work area requires a sanitary work surface that is smooth, durable, and easily cleanable. This work surface must be cleaned and sanitized before each use. Any sinks, drain boards, or other equipment used for the egg handling operation must be cleaned and sanitized before each use.
(c) The premises shall be kept clean and free of rodent harborage areas.
(d) Designated storage areas are required for new packaging materials, utensils, and equipment that may be used for the egg handling practices. These items must be protected from contamination (e.g. moisture, strong odors, dust, or insects).
(e) Potable water is required for egg handling practices. Individual water wells require an annual bacteriological test (i.e. coliform bacteria). Commercial bottled water may be used.
(f) Hand washing stations must be conveniently located in the egg handling work area and provided with soap and paper towels.
(g) Toilet rooms must be accessible to employees.
(h) A designated refrigerator is required. The refrigerator is not required to be new or of a commercial type and may be placed in the garage, etc. The refrigerator must be equipped with a suitable thermometer to routinely verify that the 40 degrees F to 45 degrees F egg storage temperature is maintained.
(a) Each producer will develop an egg quality assurance plan that, at a minimum, includes the following:
(i) Chicks/pullets will be purchased from hatcheries that are NPIP (National Poultry Improvement Plan) "US Salmonella Enteritidis Clean" status or equivalent state plan.
(ii) Testing the flock for Salmonella Enteriditis with environmental drag swab sampling once per year per flock.
(iii) A plan on how eggs will be handled if a Salmonella Enteriditis positive test is identified.
(iv) Basic bio-security protocols for the chicken houses.
(v) Records shall be kept and monitored on a regular basisin regards to newly received chicks.
(b) Producers must immediately report positive Salmonella and Avian Influenza tests to the office of the State Veterinarian.
(c) Producers may have their flocks participate in the NPIP program by contacting the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, Division of Animal Industry.
(a) Hands must be thoroughly washed before starting egg handling and during egg handling to minimize cross-contamination of cleaned eggs.
(b) Maintain clean and dry nest boxes, change nest material as needed to reduce dirty eggs. Gather eggs at least once daily.
(c) Clean eggs as needed soon after collecting. (Cleaning eggs refrigerated below 55 degrees F may cause shells to crack or check.) Minimal cleaning protects the natural protective covering on the shell. Acceptable egg cleaning methods include:
(i) dry cleaning by lightly sanding the stains or minimal dirty areas with sand paper;
(ii) using potable water in a hand spray bottle and immediately wiping dry with a single service paper towel, and/or;
(iii) briefly rinsing with running water spray and immediately wiping dry with a single service paper towel. The wash water shall be a minimum of 90 degrees F, which is warm to the touch, and shall be at least twenty degrees warmer than the temperature of the eggs to be washed.
(d) Unacceptable cleaning methods include: submerging shell eggs in water or any other solution or using cleaners that are not food grade and approved for shell egg cleaning. The porous egg shell is not impervious to odors, chemicals, and off flavors.
(e) Refrigerate the cleaned eggs immediately to 45 degrees F or less. The cleaned eggs can be packaged later. Store packaged at eggs 45 degrees F or less.
(a) Use new packaging (pulp cartons, etc.). Packaging may be purchased online, group buying, small farm co-operatives, etc.
(b) Self-adhesive attractive labels may be easily produced on a computer. The labels must include:
(i) UDAF Permit License number.
(ii) Common name of the food.
(iii) Quantity, the number of eggs.
(iv) Name and Address of the egg producer;
(v) The statement "Keep Refrigerated";
(vi) The statement "SAFE HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS: To prevent illness from bacteria: Keep eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks are firm, and cook foods containing eggs thoroughly."
(vii) Domesticated chicken hen eggs are subject to Grading. Quality designations and sizing weight ranges are determined by candling and weighing. (USDA Egg Grading Manual)
(viii) If the eggs are ungraded and not weighed, the packages/cartons shall not be labeled with a grade or size.
(ix) A Pull Date or Best By date may be stated. It may be hand written on the end of the carton or in a conspicuous location that is clearly discernible. Shell eggs are a perishable food item. The Pull Date must first show the month then the day of the month (e.g. Jun 14 or 06 14). Recommended dates are 30 days after production, not to exceed 45 days.
Transport refrigerated egg packages/cartons in an easily cleanable, portable cooler with frozen gel packs to maintain 45 degrees F or less temperature until eggs are distributed to retail outlet or sold to consumers.
Producer packer with 3,000 or more birds who is registered with USDA under the Egg Products Inspection Act.
All Egg Handlers and Producer Packers are subject to Inspections by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.
KEY: food inspections, eggs, chickens
Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: May 8, 2014
Notice of Continuation: January 11, 2021
Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 4-4-2