Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Selling eggs

I’ve written here about the fact that a new farmers market is being established near here and my interest in selling eggs there.

Here are some interesting developments on that front.

As is often the case in the Byzantine realm of public regulation selling eggs is both allowed and forbidden.

First the forbidden part, sent to the market manager as the result of official inquiry:

Guidelines for Selling Eggs

1) Facility must have an annual food permit.
2) Facility must have an approved water and sewage system that meets requirement for a food processor. A residential system is not acceptable.
3) Facility must be separate from living quarters.
4) Facility must have hot and cold water of sufficient quantity to meet processing requirements.
5) Processor must use a USDA approved shell egg sanitizer and have the appropriate test kit.
6) Facility must be equipped with equipment to properly wash and air dry the eggs. The temperature of the wash water must always be 10 degrees F or greater than the temperature of the eggs. The temperature of the wash water must be a minimum of 90 degrees F. The temperature of the approved sanitizer must be at least 10 degrees F greater than the wash water temperature. Appropriate records must be maintained for this procedure.
7) Facility must meet all requirements of the Food Code.
8) Facility must have a three compartment sink to wash, rinse, and sanitize equipment.
9) Eggs cannot be sold in cartons. They can only be sold in bulk or in flats.
10) Facility must have cooling capability to store the eggs at 41 degrees F or less.
11) A placard must be displayed at the point of sale stating the following: “These eggs have not been graded as to quality and weight”. The placard must be not smaller than 7 inches by 7 inches in size.
12) The unclassified eggs (washed eggs which have not been graded for size and quality) may have no more checks, dirties, leakers, or loss than those allowed for Florida Grade B eggs.
13) Nest eggs (eggs that have not been washed, sized, or graded for quality) may not be sold to retail outlets, consumers, or public eating places.

1, 2006

What I get from this is that no one has told that Ag Dept folks about chickens. They think eggs come from factories and if you don’t have a factory you can’t sell eggs.

Next comes the allowed part:

Sell the eggs as fertile hatching eggs. Meaning that they are intended to be used to hatch new chicks and are therefore not food. The “guidelines” above then do not apply.

Then of course if someone buys such an egg and then in total disregard for all public health guidelines, actually eats it, the vendor is not involved.

I’m not sure which side of the looking glass this is, but it is your tax dollars at work.


Anonymous said...

Read the law again.
All those requirements kick in when you produce for sale more than 30 dozen eggs per week.
There IS a health dept requirement, that is enforced at our farmers' market: in the US, eggs MUST be refrigerated from the time they're collected. SO keep 'em in a cooler and have one out for show.

Anonymous said...

I am trying to figure out how to sell eggs at the new farmers market in Pensacola but am really struggling with these rules. I can't find anything that mentions 30 dozen egg requirement. Is that for the state of Florida too?
Does anyone have any updated information??? I'd really like to do this the right way although hatching eggs is sounding pretty good right now.