Good agricultural practices, food safety awareness, and complying with food safety regulations go hand-in-hand to minimize the incidence of foodborne illness. To that end, Floridians who offer to sell, or hold for the purpose of selling, eggs for human consumption must to comply with the regulations of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) Division of Food Safety. These regulations regarding sale of eggs for human consumption apply to all flocks in Florida.
According to the Florida Food Safety Act (Florida Statutes, Chapter 500) a food permit is required to process food for sale to consumers, and is issued to a qualifying facility. The facility permit allows individuals to process and sell food products, including eggs. All eggs for human consumption must be processed in a permitted facility.
Why all the regulations and permits? Answer: Reduction and prevention of Foodborne Illness. According the Center for Disease Control (CDC) foodborne illness (sometimes called “foodborne disease,” “foodborne infection,” or “food poisoning”) is a common, costly—yet preventable—public health problem. Each year, it is estimated one in six Americans get sick by consuming contaminated foods or beverages.
According to Healthy People.gov foodborne illnesses are a burden on public health and contribute significantly to the cost of health care. Foodborne illnesses are preventable and likely an under-reported public health problem which present a major challenge to both general and at-risk populations.
To help you understand Florida’s requirements and regulations regarding selling farm fresh eggs, the UF/IFAS published an article entitled Complying with Regulations to Sell Farm Fresh Eggs. This publication discusses construction standards for a qualifying processing facility, applying for an annual food permit, renting a facility, food protection manager certification, and packaging and labeling. You can learn more about Food Safety at the following UF/IFAS website: http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/families_and_consumers/food_safety/.