Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

Small Egg Producer Rules R70-410-4



R70.  Agriculture and Food, Regulatory Services.

R70-410.  Grading and Inspection of Shell Eggs with Standard Grade and Weight Classes.

R70-410-1.  Authority.

     A.  Promulgated under authority of Section 4-4-2.

     B.  Scope: This rule shall apply to all shell egg producers who intend to wholesale eggs regardless of the size of operation.

     C. Large Egg Producers with more than 3,000 laying hens shall adhere to these regulations:

B. Adopt by reference:  The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food hereby adopts and incorporates by reference the applicable provisions of the regulations issued by the United States Department of Agriculture for grading and inspection of shell eggs and the Standards, 7 CFR Part 56, January 1, 2005 edition, 21 CFR, 1 through 200, April 1, 2003 edition; 9 CFR 590, January 1, 2005 edition; and 7 CFR 59, January 1, 2005 edition.


R70-410-2.  Handling and Disposition of Restricted Eggs.

     Restricted eggs shall be disposed of by one of the following methods at point and time of segregation:

     A.  Checks and dirties must be shipped to an official egg breaking plant for further processing to egg products.  Dirties may be shipped to a shell egg plant for cleaning.  Checks and dirties may not be sold to restaurants, bakeries and food manufacturers, not to consumers, unless such sales are specifically exempted by Section 15 of the Federal Egg Products Inspection Act and not prohibited by State Law.

     B.  Leakers, loss and inedible eggs must be destroyed for human food purposes at the grading station or point of segregation by one of the methods listed below:

     1.  Discarded and intermingled with refuse such as shells, papers, trash, etc.

     2.  Processed into an industrial product or animal food at the grading station.

     3.  Denatured or de-characterized with an approved denaturant.  (Such product shipped under government supervision and received under government supervision at a plant making industrial products or animal food need not be denatured or de-characterized prior to shipment.)

     4.  Leakers, loss and inedible eggs may be shipped in shell form provided they are properly labeled and denatured by adding FD and C color to the shell or by applying a substance that will penetrate the shell and de-characterize the egg meat.

     C.  Incubator rejects (eggs which have been subjected to incubation) may not be moved in shell form and must be crushed and denatured or de-characterized at point and time of removal from incubation.

     D.  Blood type loss which has not diffused into the albumen may be moved to an official egg products plant in shell form without adding FD and C color to the shell provided they are properly labeled and moved directly to the egg products plant.

     E.  Containers used for eggs not intended for human consumption must be labeled with the word "inedible" on the outside of the container.

     F.  Other methods of disposition may be used only when approved by the Commissioner.


R70-410-3.  Packaging.

     A.  It is unlawful for anyone to pack eggs into a master container which does not bear all required labeling, including responsible party, or to transport or sell eggs in such container.

     B.  Any person who, without prior authorization, acquires possession of a master container which bears a brand belonging to someone else shall, at his own expense, return such container to the registered owner within 30 days.


R70-410-4. Small Egg Producer Rules.



These rules arefor Shell Egg Producers who intend to wholesale eggs and are USDA Exempt(flocks of 3,000 or fewer hens). The requirements are basic in design and cost in order enable the 3,000 or fewer hen egg producers to put shell eggs into commerce while maintaining Good Manufacturing Practices. It is understood that as the egg production increases, the complexity of the operation may increase and require additional facilities and/or equipment to maintain Good Manufacturing Practices.



1.Contact the UDAF for an Egg Information Packet. The information is also available on the UDAF website-ag.utah.gov. This Packet contains a license application from Utah Department of Agriculture & Food..

2.The Egg Information Packet includes a copy of Good Manufacturing Practices (Code of Federal Regulations 21 Part 110) and an Egg Grading Manual (USDA AMS Agricultural Handbook No. 75) and links to the Federal Egg Products Inspection Act and the FDA’s Egg Safety Rule.



1)“Case” means when referring to containers, an egg case as used in commercial practice in the United States, holding thirty dozens of shell eggs.

3)“Plant” means any building, machinery, apparatus or fixture, used for the storing, grading of packing of shell eggs.

4)“Potable water” means water that has been approved by the State Department of Health, or any agency or laboratory acceptable to the Commissioner of Agriculture as safe for drinking and food processing.

5)“Premises” means a tract of land with building or part of building with its grounds or appurtenances.

6)“Product” or “products” means shell eggs of domesticated chicken.

7)“Shell eggs” means eggs of domesticated chickens.

8)“Shell protected” means eggs which have had a protective covering such as oil applied to the shell surface.

12)“Dirty” means an individual egg that has an unbroken shell with adhering dirt or foreign material, prominent stains, or moderate stains covering more than one-thirty-second of the shell surface if localized, or one-sixteenth of the shell surface if scattered.

13)“Check” means an individual egg that has a broken shell or a crack in the shell, but its shell membranes are intact and its contents do not leak.

14)“Leaker” means an individual egg that has a crack or break in the shell and shell membranes to the extent that the egg contents are exuding or free to exude through the shell.

15) “Loss” means an egg that is inedible, cooked, frozen, contaminated, sour, musty, or an egg that contains a large blood spot, large meat spot, bloody white, green white, rot, stuck yolk, blood ring, embryo chick (at or beyond the blood ring state), free yolk in the white, or other foreign material.

16)“Restricted” means eggs classified as checks, dirties, incubator rejects, inedibles, leakers and loss.



1.Establish a designated work area separate from domestic living areas.

a.)Acceptable designated work areas may be an area in the basement, garage, or outbuilding.

b.)Unacceptable work areas are domestic living areas, kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms.

2.The work area requires a sanitary work surface that is smooth, durable, and easily cleanable. This work surface must be cleaned and sanitized before each use. Any sinks, drain boards, or other equipment used for the egg handling operation must be cleaned and sanitized before each use.

4.The premises shall be kept clean and free of rodent harborage areas.

5.Designated storage areas are required for new packaging materials, utensils, and equipment that may be used for the egg handling practices. These items must be protected from contamination (e.g. moisture, strong odors, dust, or insects).

6.Potable water is required for egg handling practices. Individual water wells require an annual bacteriological test (i.e. coliform bacteria). Commercial bottled water may be used. 

7.Hand washing stations must be conveniently located in the egg handling work area and provided with soap and paper towels.

8.Toilet rooms must be accessible to employees.

9.A designated refrigerator is required. The refrigerator is not required to be new or of a commercial type and may be placed in the garage, etc. Equip the refrigerator with a suitable thermometer so you can routinely verify that the 40º F to 45º F egg storage temperature is being maintained.




Each producer will develop an egg quality assurance plan that, at a minimum, includes the following:

1) Chicks/pullets will be purchased from hatcheries that are NPIP (National Poultry Improvement Plan) "US Salmonella Enteritidis Clean" status or equivalent state plan.

2) Testing the flock for Salmonella Enteriditis with environmental drag swab sampling at a minimum of once per year per flock, but preferably at the following intervals:

 a)Pre-production (14-16 weeks of age)

 b)Mid-production (40-45 weeks of age)

 c)Post-Molt (4-6 weeks from the end of the molt)

 d)Record keeping and monitoring of records in regards to newly received chicks as well as testing at the time the flock is "pushed out".

3)A plan on how eggs will be handled if a Salmonella Enteriditis positive test is identified.

4)Basic bio-security protocols for the chicken houses.


Producers must immediately report positive Salmonella and Avian Influenza tests to the office of the State Veterinarian.


Producers may have their flocks participate in the NPIP program by contacting the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, Division of Animal Industry.



1.Hands must be thoroughly washed before starting egg handling and during egg handling to minimize cross-contamination of “finished” eggs.

2.Maintain clean and dry nest boxes, change nest material as needed to reduce dirty eggs. Gather eggs at least once daily.

3.Clean eggs as needed soon after collecting. (Cleaning eggs refrigerated below 55º F may cause shells to crack or check.) Minimal cleaning protects the natural protective covering on the shell.

Acceptable egg cleaning methods include:

a.)dry cleaning by lightly “sanding” the stains or minimal dirty areas with sand paper;

b.)using potable water in a hand spray bottle and immediately wiping dry with a single service paper towel, and/or;

c.)briefly rinsing with running water spray and immediately wiping dry with a single service paper towel. The “wash” water shall be a minimum of 90º F, which is warm “to the touch”, and shall be at least twenty degrees warmer than the temperature of the eggs to be washed. 

Unacceptable cleaning methods include: submerging shell eggs in water or any other solution or using cleaners that are not food grade and approved for shell egg cleaning. The porous egg shell is not impervious to odors, chemicals, and “off” flavors.

4.Refrigerate the “cleaned” eggs immediately to 45º F or less. The “cleaned” eggs can be packaged later. Store “finished” packaged at eggs 45º F or less.



1.Use new packaging (pulp cartons, etc.). Packaging may be purchased online, group buying, small farm co-operatives, etc.

2.Self-adhesive attractive labels may be easily produced on a computer. The labels must include:

a.)UDAF Permit #.

b.)Common name of the food – “Eggs”;   

c.)Quantity, the number of eggs, “One Dozen”;  

d.)Name and Address of the egg producer; 

e.)The statement “Keep Refrigerated”;  

f.)The statement “SAFE HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS: To prevent illness from bacteria: Keep eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks are firm, and cook foods containing eggs thoroughly.”

g.)Domesticated chicken hen eggs are subject to Grading.  Quality designations and sizing weight ranges are determined by candling and weighing. ( USDA Egg Grading Manual)

h.)If the eggs are ungraded and not weighed, the packages/cartons shall not be labeled with a grade or size.

i.)A “Pull Date” or “Best By” date may be stated. It may be hand written on the end of the carton or in a conspicuous location that is clearly discernible. Shell eggs are a perishable food item. The “Pull Date” must first show the month then the day of the month (e.g. Jun 14 or 06 14). Recommended dates are 30 days after production, not to exceed 45 days.



Transport refrigerated egg packages/cartons in an easily cleanable, portable cooler with frozen gel packs to maintain 45º F or less temperature until eggs are distributed to retail outlet or sold to consumers.



Producer packer with 3,000 or more bird's who is registered with USDA under the Egg Products Inspection Act.



Registration Fees- fee schedule based on yearly production

6,000 doz. or less-$100

6,001 to 30,000 doz.-$200

30,001 to 150,000 doz.-$300

More than 150,000 doz.-$400



All Egg Handlers and Producer Packers are subject to Inspections by the Utah Department of Agriculture & Food.


KEY:  food inspections

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment:  March 20, 2006

Notice of Continuation:  January 24, 2011

Authorizing, and implemented or Interpreted Law:  4-4-2