The new food safety requirements will become effective on July, 2010, for egg producers having 50.000 or more laying hens. Large-scale egg producers that produce shell eggs for human consumption and that do not sell all of their eggs directly to consumers must comply with the refrigeration requirements under the rule; this includes producers whose eggs receive treatments and those who transport or hold shell eggs.
The rule requires egg producers with fewer than 50,000 but at least 3.000 laying hens whose shell eggs are not processed to comply with the regulation by July, 2012. Producers who sell all their eggs directly to consumers or have less than 3.000 hens are not covered by the rule.
Under the rule, egg producers whose shell eggs are not processed must:
*Buy chicks and young hens only from suppliers who monitor for Salmonella.
*Establish pest control, biosecurity and conduct testing in the poultry house.
*Clean and disinfect poultry houses that have tested positive.
*Refrigerate eggs at 45 degrees F during storage and transportation no later than 36 hours after the eggs are laid (this also applies to eggs receiving a treatment).
Also, egg producers must maintain a written Salmonella enteritidis prevention plan and records documenting. Egg producers covered by this rule must register with the FDA. The FDA also reminds consumers to buy eggs that have been refrigerated, make sure eggs in the carton are clean and not cracked, and cook eggs and foods containing eggs thoroughly.
Aporte: Andrea Martín