Last year, the federal government issued egg safety regulations designed to prevent Salmonella Enteritidis in shell eggs during production, transportation, and storage.
Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published some guidance for small egg producers to help them comply with the regulations.
Entitled “Guidance for Industry: Prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in Shell Eggs During Production, Transportation, and Storage – Small Entity Compliance Guide (SECG),” the new guidance is intended to set forth, in plain language, the requirements of the 2009 egg safety regulation in order to help small businesses comply with that regulation.
The regulation is part of a coordinated strategy between the FDA and the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to make eggs safe to eat.
The FDA published the egg safety regulation in July 2009. It requires egg producers to have preventive measures in place during the production of shell eggs in poultry houses and requires subsequent refrigeration during storage and transportation to prevent Salmonella Enteritidis.
The regulation is expected to prevent thousands of cases of foodborne illness and approximately 30 deaths caused by consumption of eggs contaminated with the bacterium Salmonella Enteritidis each year.
The regulation affects all egg producers with 3,000 or more laying hens who do not sell all of their shell eggs directly to consumers. Producers with fewer than 3,000 laying hens are exempt from the requirements.
Producers with 50,000 or more laying hens must be in compliance with the regulation by July 2010. Producers with at least 3,000 but fewer than 50,000 laying hens must comply by July 2012.