Shell egg handlers include firms with over 3,000 layers that grade and pack their own eggs, firms that grade and pack eggs from production sources other than their own (known as a grading station), and firms that are hatcheries. They are required to register with USDA by completing and submitting a Shell Egg Handlers Registration Form (LPS-155).
At least 4 times each year, a State or Federal shell egg surveillance inspector visits each registered packing plant to verify that shell eggs packed for consumer use are in compliance, that restricted eggs are being disposed of properly, and that adequate records are being maintained. Hatcheries are visited at least once annually for the same purposes.
Restricted eggs are defined as eggs with cracks or checks in the shell, dirty eggs, incubator rejects, and inedible, leaker, or loss eggs. Cracked and dirty eggs may be shipped to an official egg products plant for processing and pasteurization. Otherwise, restricted eggs must be either destroyed or diverted for use in products other than human food.
The EPIA also requires that eggs imported into the United States be inspected at the point of entry to determine that they meet the same restricted egg tolerances established for domestic producers. Those importing shell eggs can arrange for this inspection by completing and submitting an Import Request (Shell Eggs LPS-222). There is no charge to the importer for this inspection. Assistance in completing the form and in arranging for the inspection is available by phone at the number below.
For more information or assistance in completing the form, contact:
National Supervisor, Shell Eggs
Telephone: (770) 519-9572
Shell Egg Surveillance (SES) and Avian Influenza
SES program managers work closely with USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to coordinate modified inspection schedules during times of heighten avian disease activity.