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FDA Publishes Final Guidance for New Egg Rule

The Food and Drug Administration has published the final guidance to help egg producers comply with the new FDA egg safety rule.

eggsafetyrule-featured.jpgThe “Guidance for Industry: Prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in Shell Eggs During Production, Storage, and Transportation” was initially published as draft for comment on August 12, 2010 — just days before the nationwide 500 million egg recall and Salmonella outbreak linked to Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms in Iowa.

The final guidance provides recommendations certain elements of the final rule aimed at reducing Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) in shell eggs — including environmental testing for SE, egg testing for SE, sampling methodology for SE, and recordkeeping requirements for the SE prevention plan.

“While the rule lists the measures producers must take to comply with the rule, the guidance offers more specific recommendations and options for several of the measures,” according to the FDA announcement. “The final guidance differs from the draft guidance in that it addresses environmental sampling plans for a variety of poultry house styles, as requested by commenters.”

The FDA issued the egg safety rule in July 2009. The new rule requires egg producers to have preventive measures in place on the farm during the production of shell eggs and subsequent refrigeration during storage and transportation, noted FDA in the announcement. The new food safety requirements became effective for egg producers having 50,000 or more laying hens, which represents about 80 percent of production. Producers with at least 3,000 but fewer than 50,000 laying hens must comply with the new rule by July 2012.

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