Panera Petitions FDA to Define “Egg”

January 25, 2018

Panera Bread has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to establish a clear definition for the term “egg.”    In 21 CFR part 101, Food Labeling, the agency establishes how egg products are to be labeled when used as ingredient.   For example, “Dried whole eggs, frozen whole eggs, and liquid whole eggs may be declared as "eggs". The agency currently lists “Fresh Egg” as including cooked eggs and egg dishes made only from fresh shell eggs, referenced in a general category of products used as an ingredient under the Food Additive section in part 170.3 (n)(14).

In reality, an egg is an egg. While preparation, processing and cooking methods may vary, the food itself remains a safe, nutritious egg.   Just like cutting an apple and packaging apple slices doesn’t change it from being an apple, an egg, whether a shell egg, an ingredient, a hard-boiled egg or a pasteurized egg, is still an egg. Various processing steps may be used to enhance an egg’s value, but those steps do not change the core attributes, nutritional value or safety of the egg.

UEP egg farmers support a wide range of egg processing methods, provided they meet the requirements of the FDA Egg Safety Rule and the expectations of our retail, restaurant and food production customers. Consumer choice is important, and consumers are fortunate to have a wide variety of options in the egg case and at restaurants across the country.