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  1. Food Inspection Programs

Egg Safety Inspections

The first FDA inspections under the new Egg Rule began in the Northeast and Midwest sections of the country in September 2010. Over 15 months, FDA inspectors visited about 600 facilities nationwide that produce about 80 percent of the country's eggs to determine if they are in compliance with the Rule, which went into effect in July, 2010.

Producers with 50,000 or more layinghens are now subject to the Rule, which requires them to implement measures to prevent Salmonella Enteriditis (SE) from contaminating eggs on the farm and from growing in the eggs during storage and transportation. Producers are also required to maintain records concerning their compliance with the Rule, including SE testing, and to register with the FDA.

Mike Taylor, FDA's Deputy Commissioner for Foods, says the Rule sets safety standards intended to head off outbreaks of Salmonella Enteriditis like the one that led to a recall of more than 500 million eggs in less than three weeks.

"We think that the industry's compliance with this rule will significantly reduce the risk of SE infections and outbreaks in the future," Taylor said. "These inspections will help ensure high rates of compliance and in turn improve the safety of eggs."

Field Assignment Issuance on Egg Safety

Field Assignmentswere issued to the FDA Field Offices to respond to unique situations. Field Assignments contain guidance and instructions to the FDA Field Offices for the inspectional activities (investigations, sample collection) to be conducted in a particular Industry. Field Assignments have a start and end date. They also provide guidance pertaining to the Agency's regulatory/administrative policy when applicable.

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