ARCHIVE: Eggs and poultry: Egg regulations

The Eggs and Chicks(England) Regulations 2009 revoke and replace the Eggs and Chicks (England) Regulations 2008.

The Eggs and Chicks(England) Regulations 2009 make provision for the enforcement in England of EC marketing standards relating to eggs for hatching and farmyard poultry chicks and eggs in shell for human consumption.

They also expand the scope of the current legislative controls on eggs marketing to include new Salmonella-related controls on the use of eggs intended for human consumption, in accordance with the requirements of the Salmonella National Control Programme (NCP) for laying hens. This will enable the obligations which the NCP places on the operators of laying flocks to be enforced at the marketing stage.

The Salmonella National Control Plan was developed to reduce prevalence of Salmonella in eggs across the EU and was established into UK law in 2008.

The EU regulatory  provisions which apply to the marketing of eggs for consumption and eggs for hatching and farmyard poultry chicks are contained in Council Regulation(EC) No.1234/2007 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 589/2008 (eggs for consumption) and Commission Regulation (EC) No 617/2008 (eggs for hatching and chicks).

These replace the provisions of EC Council Regulations 1028/2006 and 2782/75 and EC Commission Regulations 1868/77 and 557/07. These replacements were part of the EU`s regulation consolidating exercise, based around the Single CMO (Common Market Organisation) Regulation 1234/07.

These regulations cover the:

  • quality and weight grading
  • marking
  • packaging
  • storage
  • transport
  • labeling for retail sale

Marking and Quality Standards

Egg marking (stamping)

Since 1 January 2004, Council Regulation 5/2001 has required all Class A eggs sold at retail level in the EU to be marked with a code identifying the establishment, country of origin and method of production.

In addition, the Registration of Establishments Regulations 2003 requires all laying hens establishments to be registered and allocated a distinguishing number comprising of a digit indicating the farming method, Member State code and identification number.

Establishments with fewer than 350 laying hens and those rearing breeding laying hens do not have to be registered under these Regulations, unless any of their eggs are destined to be graded for marketing as class A.

Since 1 July 2005, ungraded eggs sold at local public markets need to be marked with a code identifying the method of production and the establishment. Producers with less than 50 birds are not required to mark their eggs with a producer code. However, individual markets still may have their own rules which require the stamping of a producer code on hen eggs.

Egg Marketing Inspectors

Egg Marketing Inspectors (EMI) are now fully integrated into the  Animal Health executive agency.

EMI’s  are responsible for the enforcement of various pieces of legislation which cover the production and marketing of eggs, at all points of the marketing chain up to but not including retail & catering level, although the Inspectors are also authorised to conduct inspections at retail & catering premises where the need arises.

The EMI work throughout England and Wales, wherever eggs are produced, graded, packed, imported, exported, bought or sold. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own Inspection force.

Forms and guidance

Explanatory leaflets covering the various stages of egg production and The Egg Quality Guide are available. You should read these leaflets before completing any of the EMR (Eggs & Chick Regulations ) forms available from the Animal Health/EMI.

Further information on the EMI

Further information 

Page last modified: 4 May 2011
Page published: 21 July 2009