Dear U.S. Egg Industry:
AMS has received word from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in Seoul, South Korea regarding the following topics:
Lay Date and Manufacture Date (Julian Date): The simple answer is the clock for the shelf life begins to click from the “laid date” and not the package date. So if you provided a range of the laid dates, e.g., January 20–27, 2017, the shelf life will be calculated for that whole lot as beginning on January 20, 2017.
Most of the shipments that have come in so far were packed on the same date as the laid date. Unless the label states the laid date, companies are asked to provide a written document asserting that both the laid date and packaging date are the same. But if it is not the case for this establishment, you will need to provide the laid date, or range of the laid date, so MFDS can verify the shelf life expiration date.
Korea generally recognizes 45 days from the laid date as the shelf life. If you want to claim longer shelf life, you need to provide written evidence your eggs can be marketed for a period longer than 45 days.
As for the documents, USDA grade is part of the agreed AMS certificate, where it states the grade of the eggs. Two copies of the USDA health certificate are a must. The packing list and certificate of origin are not required by the inspection personnel, but may be required by the Customs authorities.
Case and Unit Labeling: Korea requires both English and Korean labels on the smallest package that will be sold to consumers. So if you are going to sell 30 egg trays to consumers, both language labels have to be on each of the trays, as well as the boxes.
The labels are not required to be stickered as long as it does not fall off. Some people make stickers of it, or staple it to the plastic cover, or design the labels to surround a couple of eggs so that the labels won’t fall off.
Expiry Dates Are Required: There are two ways of indicating the expiry date, but one of the two has to be on the labels:
The whole purpose of indicating these dates is to allow consumers to know when the shelf life expires.
- First, put the exact expiry date, or,
- Second, put the laid date and state that it is 45 days or OO days from the laid date.
Individual Unit Size: Any size container is fine—30,12, etc. The small packs in Korea are 10. FAS was not able to confirm, but has heard from a couple sources there were some imports of eggs packaged in dozen egg containers.
Korea has indicated exporters should continue working with customers in Korea regarding unit labeling. Formal guidance (examples) have not been issued since they view this as customer-driven. The following was sent previously containing guidance on case labeling:
A sample of the Korean label would contain the following things in Korean language. Please note the Korean language label is something the Korean importer has to draft and put on the product before clearing Customs in Korea and not something the U.S. exporter needs to really worry about.
Korean Language Label in Accordance with the Act on Sanitary Control of Livestock Products
Product Name: Dried Egg Yolk
Type of Processed Livestock Product: Dried Egg Yolk (pasteurized product)
Importer: XX International Company. (Tel: 02-123-4567)
Address: 123-45 xx dong, yy ku, zz city
Manufacturer: OOO Egg Product Company
Manufactured date: YYYY/MM/DD
Shelf Life: YYYY/MM/DD
Weight: OO Kilogram
Name of raw ingredient and percent: Egg yolk 100 percent (Contains egg ingredient)
Country of origin: U.S.A.
Type of packaging material: Inner package Polyethylene
Storage method: Please keep out of sunlight and store in room temperature (This kind of method will vary depending on what the product is.)
Place for returning or exchanging the product: Importer or place of purchase.
Contact number for illegal or livestock products unfit for human consumption: 1399.
NOTE: Labeling remains the responsibility of management and not the USDA grader. Expiration dates longer than what is allowed in the U.S. will fall to management to provide supporting arguments/documents for the extended period.
Additionally, USAPEEC has distributed information from their Seoul office regarding updated requirements for egg products, including the FSIS letterhead certificate.
From USAPEEC/Korea Regarding Egg Products:
Companies who plan to export their egg products, including whole liquid eggs and liquid egg white, should be aware of the updated information and should check the revised heat treatment temperature and time requirements.
The Korean government combined the heat treatment requirements with OIE guideline QIA of MAFRA had followed and MFDS’s food standard to eliminate discrepancies.
All products fall in OIE guideline as before, BUT heat treatment requirements on whole liquid eggs are applied to MFDS’s food standard, which is stricter:
- Whole liquid eggs: Heat treatment for 2.5 minute with the core temperature of 64 degrees centigrade or equivalent or higher treatment.
- Liquid egg white: Heat treatment for 870 seconds with the core temperature of 55.6 degrees centigrade or for 232 seconds with the core temperature of 56.7 degrees centigrade or equivalent or higher treatment.
- Liquid egg yolk: Heat treatment for 138 seconds with the core temperature of 62.2 degrees centigrade or equivalent or higher treatment.
- Whole egg powder: Heat treatment for 188 seconds with the core temperature of 60 degrees centigrade or equivalent or higher treatment.
- Egg white powder: Heat treatment for 20 hours with the core temperature of 67 degrees centigrade or for 513 hours with the core temperature of 54.4 degrees centigrade or equivalent or higher treatment.
- Egg yolk powder: Heat treatment for 3.5 minutes the core temperature of 63.5 degrees centigrade or equivalent or higher treatment.
- Other processed egg products: Heat treatment for ______ seconds with the core temperature of _______degrees.
Companies should be aware of the labelling requirements and identification marking & FSIS Letterhead Certificate:
Egg products must have a label giving the temperature at which the egg products must be maintained and the period during which conservation may be assured. The label should include a production date of DD/MM/YYYY, a shelf life/quality maintenance period of ### days/weeks/months under storage temperature of xx°C, with the understanding that shelf life and storage conditions are determined by specification of _______ (name of establishment). The shelf life/quality maintenance period and production date must be included in the remarks section of the 9060-5EP.
- Labeling Requirements and Identification Marking*
USAPEEC/Korea checked with FAS/Seoul, and they said the updated requirements have been requested by MFDS, and FSIS approved to reach the final agreement. So, U.S. exporters should comply with the updated requirements.
AEB will continue to share all key South Korea updates from USAPEEC and USDA. Please feel free to reach out to David Fraser (901.674.1793 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or John Howeth (224.563.3705 or email@example.com) with any questions or concerns.
The American Egg Board