United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Jun 30, 2022
For purposes of this chapter—
The term “adulterated” applies to any egg or egg product under one or more of the following circumstances—
if it bears or contains any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render it injurious to health; but in case the substance is not an added substance, such article shall not be considered adulterated under this clause if the quantity of such substance in or on such article does not ordinarily render it injurious to health;
if it bears or contains any added poisonous or added deleterious substance (other than one which is (i) a pesticide chemical in or on a raw agricultural commodity; (ii) a food additive; or (iii) a color additive) which may, in the judgment of the Secretary, make such article unfit for human food;
if it is, in whole or in part, a raw agricultural commodity and such commodity bears or contains a pesticide chemical which is unsafe within the meaning of section 346a of this title;
if it bears or contains any food additive which is unsafe within the meaning of section 348 of this title;
if it bears or contains any color additive which is unsafe within the meaning of section 379e of this title: Provided, That an article which is not otherwise deemed adulterated under clause (B), (C), or (D) shall nevertheless be deemed adulterated if use of the pesticide chemical, food additive, or color additive, in or on such article, is prohibited by regulations of the Secretary in official plants;
if it consists in whole or in part of any filthy, putrid, or decomposed substance, or if it is otherwise unfit for human food;
if it has been prepared, packaged, or held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have become contaminated with filth, or whereby it may have been rendered injurious to health;
if it is an egg which has been subjected to incubation or the product of any egg which has been subjected to incubation;
if its container is composed, in whole or in part, of any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render the contents injurious to health;
if it has been intentionally subjected to radiation, unless the use of the radiation was in conformity with a regulation or exemption in effect pursuant to section 348 of this title; or
if any valuable constituent has been in whole or in part omitted or abstracted therefrom; or if any substance has been substituted, wholly or in part therefor; or if damage or inferiority has been concealed in any manner; or if any substance has been added thereto or mixed or packed therewith so as to increase its bulk or weight, or reduce its quality or strength, or make it appear better or of greater value than it is.
The term “capable of use as human food” shall apply to any egg or egg product, unless it is denatured, or otherwise identified, as required by regulations prescribed by the Secretary to deter its use as human food.
The term “commerce” means interstate, foreign, or intrastate commerce.
The term “container” or “package” includes any box, can, tin, plastic, or other receptacle, wrapper, or cover.
The term “immediate container” means any consumer package; or any other container in which egg products, not consumer packaged, are packed.
The term “shipping container” means any container used in packaging a product packed in an immediate container.
The term “egg handler” means any person who engages in any business in commerce which involves buying or selling any eggs (as a poultry producer or otherwise), or processing any egg products, or otherwise using any eggs in the preparation of human food.
The term “egg product” means any dried, frozen, or liquid eggs, with or without added ingredients, excepting products which contain eggs only in a relatively small proportion or historically have not been, in the judgment of the Secretary, considered by consumers as products of the egg food industry, and which may be exempted by the Secretary under such conditions as he may prescribe to assure that the egg ingredients are not adulterated and such products are not represented as egg products.
The term “egg” means the shell egg of the domesticated chicken, turkey, duck, goose, or guinea.
The term “check” means an egg that has a broken shell or crack in the shell but has its shell membranes intact and contents not leaking.
The term “clean and sound shell egg” means any egg whose shell is free of adhering dirt or foreign material and is not cracked or broken.
The term “dirty egg” means an egg that has a shell that is unbroken and has adhering dirt or foreign material.
The term “incubator reject” means an egg that has been subjected to incubation and has been removed from incubation during the hatching operations as infertile or otherwise unhatchable.
The term “inedible” means 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).
The term “leaker” means an egg that has a crack or break in the shell and shell membranes to the extent that the egg contents are exposed or are exuding or free to exude through the shell.
The term “loss” means an egg that is unfit for human food because it is smashed or broken so that its contents are leaking; or overheated, frozen, or contaminated; or an incubator reject; or because it contains a bloody white, large meat spots, a large quantity of blood, or other foreign material.
The term “restricted egg” means any check, dirty egg, incubator reject, inedible, leaker, or loss.
The term “inspection” means the application of such inspection methods and techniques as are deemed necessary by the responsible Secretary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
The term “inspector” means:
any employee or official of the United States Government authorized to inspect eggs or egg products under the authority of this chapter; or
any employee or official of the government of any State or local jurisdiction authorized by the Secretary to inspect eggs or egg products under the authority of this chapter, under an agreement entered into between the Secretary and the appropriate State or other agency.
The term “misbranded” shall apply to egg products which are not labeled and packaged in accordance with the requirements prescribed by regulations of the Secretary under section 1036 of this title.
The term “official certificate” means any certificate prescribed by regulations of the Secretary for issuance by an inspector or other person performing official functions under this chapter.
The term “official device” means any device prescribed or authorized by the Secretary for use in applying any official mark.
The term “official inspection legend” means any symbol prescribed by regulations of the Secretary showing that egg products were inspected in accordance with this chapter.
The term “official mark” means the official inspection legend or any other symbol prescribed by regulations of the Secretary to identify the status of any article under this chapter.
The term “official plant” means any plant, as determined by the Secretary, at which inspection of the processing of egg products is maintained by the Department of Agriculture under the authority of this chapter.
The term “pasteurize” means the subjecting of each particle of egg products to heat or other treatments to destroy harmful viable micro-organisms by such processes as may be prescribed by regulations of the Secretary.
The term “person” means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other business unit.
The terms “pesticide chemical,” “food additive,” “color additive,” and “raw agricultural commodity” shall have the same meaning for purposes of this chapter as under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act [21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.].
The term “plant” means any place of business where egg products are processed.
The term “processing” means manufacturing egg products, including breaking eggs or filtering, mixing, blending, pasteurizing, stabilizing, cooling, freezing, drying, or packaging egg products.
The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Agriculture or his delegate.
The term “State” means any State of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands of the United States, and the District of Columbia.
The term “United States” means the States.
cite as: 21 USC 1033