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FDA Publishes New Guidance on the Egg Safety Rule

Food Basket

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition - Food and Drug Administration

August 12, 2010

On August 12, 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published additional guidance for egg producers to help them further comply with the new federal egg safety rule. The guidance, entitled "Guidance for Industry: Prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in Shell Eggs During Production, Storage, and Transportation", provides recommendations on certain provisions contained in the rule, including how to implement Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) prevention measures, how to sample for SE, and how to maintain records documenting compliance with the final rule.

The guidance provides recommendations on the following provisions: biosecurity; rodents, flies, and other pest control; cleaning and disinfection; 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.

The FDA issued the egg safety rule in July 2009, requiring egg producers to have preventive measures in place on the farm during the production of shell eggs and subsequent refrigeration during storage and transportation.

On July 9, 2010, the new food safety requirements became effective for egg producers having 50,000 or more laying hens, which is 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. Earlier this year, the FDA issued guidance, aimed at helping small businesses comply with the egg rule.

In the preamble in the final rule, the FDA announced that it intended to provide guidance on recordkeeping and other provisions of the rule, including further specific recommendations for (1) biosecurity steps and options for achieving these steps, (2) monitoring for flies and on the level of fly activity considered acceptable, and (3) acceptable manure removal. This latest guidance document is a follow-up to that commitment.

For more information, see Egg Safety Final Rule.