9 CFR 590.504 - General operating procedures.
(a) Operations involving processing, storing, and handling of shell eggs, ingredients, and egg products shall be strictly in accord with clean and sanitary methods and shall be conducted as rapidly as practicable. Pasteurization, heat treatment, stabilization, and other processes shall be in accord with this part and as approved by the Administrator. Processing methods and temperatures in all operations shall be such as will prevent a deterioration of the egg products.
(b) Shell eggs and egg products processed in official plants shall be subjected to constant and continuous inspection throughout each and every processing operation. Any shell egg or egg product which was not processed in accordance with these regulations or is not fit for human food shall be removed and segregated.
(c) All loss and inedible eggs or egg products shall be placed in a container clearly labeled “inedible” and containing a sufficient amount of approved denaturant or decharacterant, such as FD&C brown, blue, black, or green colors, meat and fish by-products, grain and milling by-products, or any other substance, as approved by the Administrator, that will accomplish the purposes of this section. Shell eggs shall be crushed and the substance shall be dispersed through the product in amounts sufficient to give the product a distinctive appearance or odor. Notwithstanding the foregoing, and upon permission of the Inspector, the applicant may hold inedible product in containers clearly labeled inedible which do not contain a denaturant if such inedible product is denatured or decharacterized prior to shipment from the official plant: Provided, That such product is properly packaged, labeled, segregated, and inventory controls are maintained. In addition, product shipped from the official plant for industrial use or animal food need not be denatured or decharacterized, provided, that such product is properly packaged, labeled, segregated, and inventory controls are maintained, and that such product is shipped under Government seal and certificate and received at the destination location by an inspector or grader as defined in this part.
(d) The inspector may, prior to receipt of laboratory results for salmonella, or for other reasons such as labeling as to solids content, permit egg products to be shipped from the official plant when he has no reason to suspect noncompliance with any of the provisions of this part. However, such shipments shall be made under circumstances which will assure the return of the product to the plant for reprocessing, relabeling, or under such other conditions as the Administrator may determine to assure compliance with this part.
(e) Pasteurizing, stabilizing, or drying operations shall start as soon as practicable after breaking to prevent deterioration of product, preferably within 72 hours from time of breaking for egg products other than whites which are to be desugared.
(f) Each person who is to handle any exposed or unpacked egg products or any utensils or container which may come into contact with egg product, shall wash his hands and maintain them in a clean condition.
(g) No product or material which creates an objectionable condition shall be processed, stored, or handled in any room, compartment, or place where any shell eggs or egg products are processed, stored or handled.
(h) Only germicides, insecticides, rodenticides, detergents, or wetting agents or other similar compounds which will not deleteriously affect the eggs or egg products when used in an approved manner and which have been approved by the Administrator, may be used in an official plant. The identification, storage, and use of such compounds shall be in a manner approved by the Administrator.
(i) Utensils and equipment which are contaminated during the course of processing any shell eggs or egg products shall be removed from use immediately and shall not be used again until cleaned and sanitized.
(k) Packages or containers for egg products shall be of sanitary design and clean when being filled with any egg products; and all reasonable precautions shall be taken to avoid soiling or contaminating the surface of any package or container liner which is, or will be, in direct contact with such egg products. Only new containers or used containers that are clean, in sound condition and lined with suitable inner liners shall be used for packaging edible egg products. Fiber containers used without liners require the approval of the Administrator.
(l) Egg products shall be inspected to determine the wholesomeness of the finished product.
(m) Egg products shall be processed in such a manner as to insure the immediate removal of blood and meat spots, shell particles, and foreign materials.
(n) Utensils and equipment, except drying units, powder conveyors, sifters, blenders, and mechanical powder coolers shall be clean and sanitized at the start of processing operations. Equipment and utensils shall be kept clean and sanitary during all processing operations.
(o) Egg products prior to being released into consuming channels shall be pasteurized in accordance with § 590.570 except that dried whites prepared from nonpasteurized liquid shall be heat treated in accordance with § 590.575.
(1) To assure adequate pasteurization, egg products shall be sampled and tested for the presence of salmonella. Sampling for the presence of salmonella shall be in accordance with § 590.580 and product found to be salmonella positive shall be reprocessed, pasteurized, and analyzed for the presence of salmonella, or denatured.
(2) Nonpasteurized or salmonella positive egg product may be shipped from an official plant only when it is to be pasteurized, repasteurized, or heat treated in another official plant. Shipments of products from one official plant to another for pasteurization, repasteurization, or heat treatment shall be in sealed cars or trucks with an accompanying certificate stating that the product is not pasteurized or is salmonella positive. If nonpasteurized or salmonella positive products are to be stored in other than the official plant facilities, the inspector at the consignee's and consignor's plants shall be given full knowledge of the disposition of the product, including warehouse inventory receipts, until such time as product is pasteurized, repasteurized, or heat treated. The containers of such nonpasteurized or salmonella positive product shall be marked with the identification mark shown in Figure 3 of § 590.415.
(3) Notwithstanding the provision of paragraph (o)(2) of this section, nonpasteurized salted egg products containing 10 percent or more salt added may be shipped from an official plant directly to a manufacturer of acidic dressings only under the following provisions:
(i) Before such shipment is made, the manufacturer of the acidic dressing shall apply in writing and receive permission from the Administrator to receive and use unpasteurized egg products. The applicant shall sign a written statement containing the specification for the treatment of the nonpasteurized egg product in a manner that will insure that viable salmonella microorganisms are destroyed, and such processing treatment shall be approved by the Administrator prior to use.
(ii) Product shall be shipped under seal from the official plant, accompanied by an official USDA certificate stating that the product is nonpasteurized and for use in acidic dressings only.
(iii) The applicant shall acknowledge receipt of each shipment by indicating on the reverse side of the USDA certificate. “The quantity of nonpasteurized egg product stated on this certificate was received at _____,” the blank being filled in with the name and address of the receiving company and the date and signature of the person completing the form. The certificate shall be returned to the USDA inspector at the origin plant.
(iv) The acidic dressing manufacturer shall maintain processing records indicating the use of each shipment of unpasteurized salted product and the code lots of acidic dressing into which it was processed. Records of the pH and the acidity expressed as percent acetic acid of each code lot shall be maintained. The records shall also demonstrate that the acidic dressing was held 72 hours prior to shipment. These records shall be maintained for 2 years and shall be available for inspection by a representative of the Department.
(v) Each container of salted egg product shipped from the official plant shall be labeled as required in § 590.411, and shall bear the words “Caution - this egg product has not been pasteurized or otherwise treated to destroy viable salmonella microorganisms,” and shall bear the official identification shown in figure 4 of § 590.415.
(p) Air which is to come in contact with product or with product contact surfaces shall come from approved filtered outside air sources.
(q) All liquid and solid waste material in the official plant shall be disposed of in a manner approved by the Administrator to prevent product contamination and in accordance with acceptable environmental protection practices.