By Les Harrison
The long awaited Limited Poultry and Egg Farm Operation rule has been adopted. The initial efforts to change the regulations began in 2010.
This rule establishes the regulatory parameters for a farm based food establishment. It is limited to the provision of whole shell eggs and dressed poultry products only.
The final revised language of the relevant sections is provided in the revised version of Chapter 5K-4, Florida Administrative Code. The section pertaining to poultry may be accessed through the following link: Chapter 5K-4.033 Limited Poultry and Egg Farm Operation
Plans are underway to initiate permitting of Limited Poultry and Egg Farm Operations beginning July 1, 2014. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Division of Food Safety is making the necessary changes to incorporate this new business category into their data management system.
Prior to the July 2014 changes, producers wishing to legally sell eggs or processed poultry were subject to greater regulation and expense. The relaxed regulations and reduced fees make it economically possible for small producers to serve niche market segments.
Additionally they are training food safety field inspectors on permitting these operations. The Limited Poultry and Egg Farm Operation Guidance document is currently being finalized and will be available before permitting begins.
By law (Chapter 500, Florida Statutes) FDACS Food Safety permits must be renewed annually by January 1 of each calendar year. The July 1 permitting for new Limited Poultry and Egg Farm Operation will be for an initial half-year permit.
A renewal notice will follow in October 2014 for fiscal year 2015 for full payment of annual permit. A full year permit is $100 plus $10 epidemiological fee of $10 for a total of $110. The cost of the half year permit will be $50 plus the $10 epidemiological fee for a total of $60.