Selling Backyard Eggs (not at a Farmer's Market) - Rules, Regulations, Licenses, etc.

I sent three emails to various agencies asking for clarification on selling eggs. Here's the reply from the one agency who had a substantive reply. Please note that I edited his email address at the bottom of his signature by putting spaces around the "@" so that he won't get spammed.
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Hi,

I am trying to collect information about selling backyard eggs (not at a Farmer’s market). I’m looking at Title 4, Part 1, Chapter 15.

It looks like a backyard egg producer would not need a license if
• The eggs are ungraded
• There is no claim about organic/not organic
It also appears that the eggs must be sold at 45°F or below.
Have I missed anything? Is there someplace else I should be looking?

Cheers,
Kirsten Whitworth
Austin, Texas
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Ms. Whitworth,

An Egg License is not required if you are selling eggs from your own hens to the end customer.  A license as a dealer/wholesale is required if you will be selling graded eggs, selling to restaurants, or buying other producers' eggs for resale.  Applications are available on our website at  http://www.texasagriculture.gov/RegulatoryPrograms/EggQualityProgram/EggForms.aspx

Under the exemption from licensing the eggs still must always be stored at 45 degrees or less. Egg cartons must be labeled with "Ungraded" followed by "Produced by (producer's name)" and bearing the producer's address in legible printed boldface type.  The eggs must be sold directly to the consumer, not to a restaurant or for resale.  A required Safe Handling Instructions statement must also be on the principal display panel, the information panel, or on the inside of the lid of egg cartons. The required statement is as follows:
"SAFE HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS: To prevent illness from bacteria: keep eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks are firm, and cook foods containing eggs thoroughly." If this statement appears on the inside of the lid, the words "Keep Refrigerated" must appear on the principal display panel or information panel.  Contact the Department of State Health Services at 512-834-6626 to determine if any further licensing may be required by that department or a local health department.

Use of language describing the eggs as "fresh," "yard," "selected," "hennery," "new-laid," "infertile," "cage," or with words that have similar meaning can only be used with graded eggs of a Grade A or better.

The claim "organic" can be used only by a certified organic producer. For more information about organic certification, please contact Mary Ellen Holliman at 512-463-7513 for assistance.

If licensed, you are required to submit reports.  Reports are due by the 10th of the month following the end of each reporting period.  If you buy or sell both graded and ungraded eggs, or if you are the first individual to assign a grade to the eggs, you must report monthly.  A grading fee of $0.03 per 30-dozen case must be submitted to the Texas Department of Agriculture with the mailed monthly report.  In-state licensees who only buy and sell already-graded eggs may report quarterly.  Quarters run Sept-Nov, Dec-Feb, March-May, June-Aug.  Since there will be no inspection fee due, quarterly reports can be forwarded by email or by fax.  

Information on how to grade eggs can be obtained from the Texas A&M Poultry Science Center at 979-845-4319. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me, or Kerry Cowlishaw, the program specialist for the egg program, at 512-463-7400.

Best regards,
Howard

Howard Pieper
Coordinator for Fuel Quality and Egg Quality
Consumer Product Protection Division,
Texas Department of Agriculture
Toll Free: 800-835-5832
Voice: 512-463-6477
Fax: 888-215-5386
Office E-Mail: howard.pieper @ TexasAgriculture.gov
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Thank you SO much, Mr. Pieper. I will post your reply, if you don’t mind, on the Austin Backyard Poultry Meetup forum, and on the Texas Permaculture Design Project’s Facebook page.

Cheers,
Kirsten
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For those who are interested in selling at a farmers market please know that it is important to follow all requirements of the state and local health departments. And as always please contact us with any questions about individual situations or specific requirements.

Best regards,
Howard

Howard Pieper
Coordinator for Fuel Quality and Egg Quality
Consumer Product Protection Division,
Texas Department of Agriculture
Toll Free: 800-835-5832
Voice: 512-463-6477
Fax: 888-215-5386
Office E-Mail: howard.pieper @ TexasAgriculture.gov

 

Comments

where do I find the permit to sell farm ( ungraded eggs) at a farmers market in Lubbock Texas

thanks

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