Government legislation

The following measures are currently applied to eggs produced in the UK:

Salmonella National Control Programme Legislation

  • The Zoonoses Order 1989 requires all isolations of Salmonella from specified species of animals, birds, carcasses, products or surroundings of an animal or bird or from any feeding stuffs to be reported to Defra (ref SI 1989/285).
  • The Control of Salmonella in Poultry Order 2007 sets out specific sampling requirements for Salmonella in breeding and laying flocks required by the National Control Programmes for Salmonella. (ref SI 2007/3574). This Order implements the requirements of European legislation in Regulation (EC) No. 2160/2003 on the control of Salmonella and other specified food-borne zoonotic agents.
  • The legislation also allows for various actions to be taken when specified Salmonella serotypes are found in breeding and laying flocks, including for restrictions to be imposed on the eggs from that flock and requiring the cleansing and disinfection of poultry houses when certain invasive Salmonella serotypes - Salmonella Enteritidis (SE), Salmonella Typhimurium (ST) and monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium strains - have been isolated.  

Egg Marketing Legislation

  • The Egg and Chick Regulations (2009) England (SI 2009/2163) and equivalent in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, covers production through to final sale, laying down stamping, labelling and permitted marketing of eggs. This legislation makes it mandatory to show a “best before” date for eggs on packs and for instructions to be printed on packs telling consumers to keep eggs refrigerated (chilled) after purchase.  The EU regulatory provisions which apply to the marketing of eggs for consumption are contained in Council Regulation (EC) No. 1308/2013 and Commission Regulation (EC) No. 589/2008.
  • These regulations cover the quality and weight grading, marking, packaging, storage, transport and labelling for retail sale.
  • The Ungraded Eggs (Hygiene) Regulations 1990 banning the retail sale by egg producers of cracked eggs (ref SI 1990/1323).

Food Labelling Legislation

  • Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25th October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers. This piece of European legislation is called the
    EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU FIC). It came into force on 13th December 2014 and changes the way allergen information appears on labels and on food that is prepacked, sold loose or served when you are eating outside of the home. The EU FIC brings general and nutrition labelling together into a single regulation to simplify and consolidate existing labelling legislation. See more at

Food Hygiene Legislation

  • The general hygiene requirements for all food business operators are laid down in Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 and Regulation (EC) No. 853/2004. Regulation (EC) 2073/2005 lays down requirements for microbiological criteria in foodstuffs including egg products. Regulation (EC) No. 882/2004 and Regulation (EC) No. 854/2004 relate to the organisation of official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption.
  • In general, the legislation covers production and handling of all foods along the whole food chain and includes specific requirements to minimise risks to the hygienic production of high quality eggs.
  • National legislation includes the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006, as amended in 2010 (SI 2010/534) and the Official Feed and Food Controls (England) Regulations 2006 as amended in 2011 (SI 2011/136). There is equivalent legislation in the rest of the UK.


Government produced guidance available

  1. Code of Practice for the prevention and control of Salmonella in breeding flocks and hatcheries (1993).
  2. A Guide to the National Control Programme for Salmonella in breeding flocks (revised 2014).
  3. Code of Practice for the control of Salmonella during the production, storage and transport of compound feeds, pre-mixtures, feed materials and feed additives (ref PBI 3303 Oct 2009).
  4. Code of Practice for the prevention and control of Salmonella in commercial egg laying flocks (revised 2007). 
  5. A Guide to the National Control programme for Salmonella in laying flocks (revised 2014).
  6. Code of Practice for the prevention and control of rodent infestations on poultry farms (revised in 2009)
  7. Explanatory leaflet on legislation covering the production and marketing of eggs – EMR1