Legal requirements relating to the sale of eggs

Do egg producers need to be registered before they can sell their eggs?

Egg producers must register with the Egg Marketing Inspectorate, which is part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), if:

  • they have 350 or more hens; or
  • they have 50 or more hens and they market their eggs at local public markets; or
  • if their eggs are marketed as “Class A” eggs.

Requirements for small egg producers

Poultry keepers who keep fewer than 50 birds are allowed to sell their eggs at their gate or locally door to door or direct to their consumers at a local public market and are not required, or permitted, to mark or grade their eggs. They are, however, required to provide details of their name and address to anyone they sell their eggs to. They are also required to provide their consumers with consumer advice advising them to keep the eggs chilled after purchase along as well as a best before date. The best before date should be no more than 28 days from the date on which the egg was laid.

Poultry keepers who run a bed and breakfast establishment with no more than 3 rooms on the same site where their chickens are kept are allowed to serve their eggs to their guests and do not have to grade or mark their eggs.

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For more information on:

  • Requirements in relation to the sale of ungraded eggs by registered poultry keepers
  • Requirements in relation to Class A eggs