The Egg Safety and Quality Management Program at CDFA regulates shell eggs and egg products produced, shipped, or sold in California. The mission of the program is to ensure that eggs sold in California are of known quality, origin, grade, and size; have been properly handled, labeled, transported, refrigerated; and are wholesome and safe to eat.
The program also enforces regulatory standards for preventing salmonella enteriditis in eggs, and for providing a minimum floor space standard for egg-laying hens.
Anyone engaged in the production, sale, or handling of shell eggs or egg products in California must register with the program. CDFA personnel inspect shell eggs and egg products at production, packing, distribution, and retail facilities.
Some of the Requirements for Egg Handlers:
- Labeling: Consumer-grade packages or containers of eggs must state all of the following: name, address, zip code, quantity, the words “keep refrigerated,” and either the USDA plant of origin code number, the USDA Shell Egg Surveillance number, (if applicable) or California state handler code, sell-by date, *CA SEFS Compliant, *size, *grade, Julian date of pack (the consecutive day of the year that the eggs were packed, in Julian date format. Example – The Julian date for January 1 is 001, the Julian date for December 31 is 365).*Must be printed in font ź inch or larger
- Quality: All shell eggs shall be graded and sized. The established grades of eggs are: AA, A, and B. The established sizes of eggs are: pee-wee, small, medium, large, extra large, and jumbo.
- Refrigeration: Shell eggs must be maintained at a temperature of 45° Fahrenheit or less.
- Defects: Shell eggs for human consumption must not exceed the tolerances for defects such as checks, leakers, dirty eggs, inedible or loss eggs.