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Small Egg Production Operators

What is a Small Egg Production Operation?

A “Small Egg Operator” is a person that is engaged in the operation of egg production who maintains annually five-hundred or fewer birds and wishes to sell the resulting eggs from a location other than from the location where the eggs were produced.

Do You Need a License?

No. A small egg processor is not assessed a fee from the ODA for the registration, but you will be issued a certificate of registration which may be presented to any interested party to support the approved source requirement.

There will be a mobile retail inspection fee assessed from the local health department if you wish to pursue sales at a farmers’ market.

For mobile retail licensing, contact Samantha Wantz at or call 740-454-9741, ext. 293.

Inspection Information

The ODA will ensure that…

  • Labeling requirements are being met.
  • Eggs are maintained in refrigeration at 45°F or less.
  • Homes that are served by a private well, must be tested annually for coliform bacteria. Proof of the well test result must be provided to the inspector.
  • Labels should be available for review at the time of inspection.

To arrange for an inspection, contact the ODA Division of Food Safety by phone at 1-800-282-1955, Ext. 4366 or by email at

What are the Labeling Requirements?

The requirements for carton labeling are as follows:

  1. The name and address of the operation.
  2. An accurate statement of the quantity of the contents.
  3. The date the eggs were packed into the egg carton.
  4. Labeled “ungraded” or “unclassified.”
  5. Labeled “mixed size.”
  6. The safe handling statement (see below):

“SAFE HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS: To prevent illness from bacteria keep eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks are firm, and cook foods containing eggs thoroughly.”

NOTE: Cartons may be reused, however all original non-pertinent information must be defaced and replaced with proper labeling. Reused cartons should be in sound condition and free of any visible dirt.

Where Can You Sell Eggs?

  • Properly labeled eggs may be sold from your farm, from a farmers’ market that you own/operate, or a farm product auction without any inspection.
  • To sell eggs to a retailer, restaurant or at a farmers’ market, the processor must register with the ODA Division of Food Safety to be considered an “approved source.”
  • May also need to obtain a mobile retail license from the Health Department.

To contact the ODA Division of Food Safety call 1-800-282-1955, Ext. 4366 or email at

For mobile retail licensing, call Samantha Wantz at or call 740-454-9741, ext. 293.

NOTE: A small egg processor that is registered with the ODA must also license with their local health department to sell eggs at a farmers’ market.


Ohio Department of Agriculture Small Egg Fact Sheet