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Egg stamping

All eggs sold in NSW (except as noted below) must be individually stamped with the producer's unique identifier, usually a number or code.

Stamping helps food safety authorities trace eggs back to the farm. It provides a safeguard in the event of a food poisoning incident or outbreak.

Eggs can be stamped at the farm where they are produced or at a grading facility.

NB: The NSW Food Authority has reviewed the implementation of mandatory NSW egg stamping requirements that were introduced in November 2014 under the National Primary Production and Processing Standard for Eggs and Egg Products. You can view the full report, Review of Egg Stamping Implementation in NSW.

Stamps

There are no mandatory images, symbols or lettering. The NSW Food Authority only stipulates that the stamp is a unique code that is assigned exclusively to one producer. For example, it can be a symbol or it can be a series of numbers and letters.

The unique identifier is used by food safety authorities to trace eggs. It is not intended as consumer advice.

For consumers, the egg packaging provides relevant information about where the eggs come from and identifies which production method was used in producing the eggs such as cage, barn-laid, free-range and/or organic. The egg stamping code may be used in addition to other marketing or branding that consumers may see on eggs.

To assist small egg operators with the costs associated with stamping, the Food Authority provides them with a one-off free hand stamp with a pre-assigned, 6-digit code consisting of 3 letters followed by 3 numbers (eg. NSW123). The stamp kit also includes 1 one-off pack of 5 ink refills.

Small egg farms need to 'notify' the Food Authority with your business details and food activities. You can notify online, free of charge at www.foodnotify.nsw.gov.au .

Small egg farms will be provided with a free, self inking egg stamp with a pre-assigned code once their notification has been processed.

Producers need to purchase ongoing ink refills and repair or replace the stamper (if required).

For more information see the factsheets:

Exemptions

An exemption from stamping applies to small egg farmers that produce less than 20 dozen (240) eggs/week and, either:

  • sell those eggs direct from the farm gate, or
  • use those eggs for a fundraising activity where the eggs will be cooked

Sales interstate

Businesses supplying eggs interstate will need to research the stamping requirements of the destination.

Equipment failure

If egg stamping equipment fails, businesses need to notify the Food Authority in writing within 24 hours of the licence holder becoming aware of the failure.

See:

Stamping equipment options

Australian and international businesses that provide egg stamping equipment are listed here (pdf, 95KB). (This list is not exhaustive.)