Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

Small Farm Egg Rule

 

 Revisions to Utah Egg Law Benefit Small Egg Producers

 

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) has amended the Utah Egg Grading and Inspection Rule to allow owners of small egg producing farms (less than 3,000 hens) to market their products to larger commercial businesses such as restaurants and grocery stores.  The rule requires small sized farms to adhere to similar regulatory guidelines as those covering larger farms (more than 3,000 hens). The rule takes effect immediately.  It does not impact the typical backyard chicken owner who sells eggs directly to consumers.

Because small egg producers are not inspected by the USDA and FDA, state and local health codes prohibit uninspected eggs from being sold at commercial outlets such as restaurants and grocery stores.  The UDAF rule was enacted following a request by small egg producers who wished to market their products at the wholesale level, and provide a level of safety for consumers. 

 “The requirements are basic in design and cost to enable the 3,000 or fewer hen egg producers to put shell eggs into commerce while maintaining Good Manufacturing Practices,” said Jay Schvaneveldt, acting Regulatory Services Division Director. 

 Producers will be provided information outlining Good Manufacturing Practices; USDA Egg Grading Manual; and FDA’s Egg Safety Rule,

A few of the requirements under the new rule include: Routine salmonella testing; licensing through the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food; routine inspections by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food; candling, to check for cracks and other defects when grading the eggs; potable water used for egg washing and handling; maintain clean and dry nesting areas and clean eggs as needed after collecting; refrigeration of eggs after collecting; packaging should be in new cartons and contain labeling with the producers permit number; address of producer; safe handling instructions;, a pull-from-market date; and more.

Small Egg Producer Rules R70-410-4
Emergency Rule Postings

 

 The UDAF supports both large and small agriculture through the Utah's Own program and the creation of the Urban Agriculture Advisory Council. The Department also helped create the Utah Egg Quality Assurance Program several years ago that significantly reduced the number of poultry and human cases of Salmonella.

Contact: Larry Lewis (801) 538-7104
 Cell (801) 514-2152
Jay Schvaneveldt (801) 538-7149
Date: Nov. 15, 2013