CDFA released draft document on Proposition 12

January 9, 2020

Draft document sheds light on agency current thinking

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has released DRAFT documents on Proposition 12 prior to official rulemaking to increase public participation and improve the quality of the regulations. This release was not a public notice of the initial rulemaking required by Government Code Section 11346.5, but for information gathering purposes only. Some key points include:

Housing Requirements

No egg producer or egg handler shall knowingly sell or contract to sell within the state a shell egg or liquid egg (further draft clarification below) for human consumption if it is the product of an egg-laying hen that was confined in an enclosure that fails to comply with all of the following standards:

  1. Commencing January 1, 2020, an enclosure shall provide a minimum of 144 square inches of usable floor space per hen.
  2. Commencing January 1, 2022, an enclosure shall be a cage-free housing system with the minimum usable floor space required by the 2017 UEP Animal Husbandry Guidelines. (see additional requirements in draft)

Prop 12 defined liquid eggs as:  (l) “Liquid eggs” means eggs of an egg-laying hen broken from the shells, intended for human food, with the yolks and whites in their natural proportions, or with the yolks and whites separated, mixed, or mixed and strained. Liquid eggs do not include combination food products, including pancake mixes, cake mixes, cookies, pizzas, cookie dough, ice cream, or similar processed or prepared food products, that are comprised of more than liquid eggs, sugar, salt, water, seasoning, coloring, flavoring, preservatives, stabilizers, and similar food additives.


CDFA Draft Definition provides additional clarifications of Shell Eggs and Liquid Eggs:

  1. (p) “Liquid eggs” means the product defined in section 25991(l) of the Health and Safety Code, whether it is raw or pasteurized, co-packed with other foods, or sold frozen, dried, or as a cooked patty, puck, or other cooked form.
  2. (w) “Shell egg” means a whole egg of an egg-laying hen in the shell form, intended for use as human food.
  3. (o) “in the shell form” for the purposes of section 25991(p) of the Health and Safety Code and this Article means an egg as developed, proportioned, and shaped in the shell by an egg-laying hen, whether it is in the shell, raw, pasteurized in the shell, hardboiled or otherwise cooked in the whole form, peeled, co-packaged with other foods, or subsequently sold sliced, chopped, or otherwise cut.

Comments must be received by CDFA no later than 5:00 PM PST, January 31, 2020. Comments must be submitted via electronic mail with any attachments in PDF at the following address:

Draft documents associated with the announcement can be found at: