Wednesday, February 2, 2011

FDA egg inspection report

After the infamous August 2010 500-million egg recall, and the ensuing implementation of a new federal rule aimed at preventing Salmonella in shell eggs, the FDA issued its first egg inspection report on February 1, 2011.

There are about 600 farms with over 50,000 laying hens subject to the new egg safety rule. 35 of those 600 shell egg farms were inspected in six states during this round.  Those included farms in Ohio, Maine, Pennsylvania, Washington, South Carolina, and Utah. Each farm inspected had either been associated with a salmonella outbreak, or had a poor history of compliance.

12 of the farms inspected were required to make changes as a result of the inspections. 11 of the 12 received a final inspection classification as "No Action Indicated." The remaining 12 farms are still awaiting disposition. Most of the violations were related to poor record keeping. Additional violations concerned inadequate rodent and stray animal control.

Of 1,796 environmental swabs collected at the farms, 4 percent (76 total) tested positive for Salmonella Entertidis. Each of the positive swabs was obtained from one specific unnamed egg producer.

"The remaining farms will receive a targeted inspection focused on compliance with the major provisions of the Rule," according to FDA. "An evidentiary threshold based on initial inspectional observations is being established for these sites, which will trigger comprehensive inspections that will include environmental sampling, if indicated. FDA and its state partners will be in communication throughout the course of this assignment to share the results of inspections."

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