Department inspectors ensure consumers receive wholesome, properly identified meat and poultry products by inspecting slaughter and processing facilities. Licensing of cold warehouses and meat brokers as well as inspection of facilities that sell, serve or process eggs are conducted for proper handling, storage, accuracy in grading and labeling is also handled by this division.
EGG AND EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTIONS
Bureau inspectors perform inspections and quality grading of eggs and egg products sold in Illinois in accordance to the Illinois Egg and Egg Products Act. The Act requires anyone who grades, packs, sells or barters eggs must be licensed with the Illinois Department of Agriculture. A license application can be downloaded, (this file is in .PDF format and requires Acrobat Reader to view) completed and returned by mail to the department.
Eggs sold for human consumption must be candled, graded, and refrigerated. Egg cartons must be labeled to identify day of pack, expiration date, grade, size, name, address, and identification of the packer. Inspectors perform inspections at all points of the distribution channel including packing plants, distribution centers, grocery stores, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants and bakeries. The department provides assistance to the USDA under a cooperative agreement to perform Federal Shell Egg Surveillance on a quarterly basis as mandated by federal law. Inspectors perform grading service on a fee or resident basis as requested under the USDA voluntary program. Five inspectors have achieved USDA certification as Federal Egg Graders. The Illinois Department of Agriculture cooperates with the Food and Drug Administration, the Food Safety and Inspection Service, and the Illinois Department of Public Health to provide uniform enforcement of temperature requirements for eggs at all locations.