[Homestead] Salmonella in eggs finally get regulated by FDA
tvoivozd at infionline.net
Tue Sep 21 00:38:21 EDT 2004
Farms Should Test for Salmonella in Eggshells-FDA
2 hours, 19 minutes ago
/By Christopher Doering/
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Large U.S. farms that sell eggs will be required
to adopt stricter food safety measures to reduce the risk of chicken egg
shells being contaminated with salmonella, the U.S. Food and Drug
- web sites
said on Monday.
The FDA (news
- web sites
proposed new rules that will require about 4,100 of the nation's biggest
egg farms to test their chicken houses for salmonella enteritidis. The
farms will also have to refrigerate eggs once they are collected from
hens and adopt better sanitation measures to control mice and other pests.
An estimated 118,000 illnesses a year are caused by eating eggs
contaminated with salmonella enteritidis, according to the FDA. The
agency said its proposed rules for farms would cut the number of cases
by an estimated 33,500 annually.
Eating eggs with salmonella enteritidis that have not been fully cooked
can lead to severe diarrhea, short term or chronic arthritis and in rare
cases, death. The elderly, children and individuals with weak immune
systems are most susceptible.
Unlike other forms of salmonella, the illness is spread when an infected
hen transfers the disease to shell eggs.
The new rules will not apply to farms that pasteurize their eggs to
destroy harmful germs, the agency said.
The FDA said it targeted stricter food safety practices on the farm
after guidelines issued in 2000 for safe handling and refrigeration of
eggs by retailers failed to cut the rate of salmonella.
"The incidence of these illnesses has really pretty much remained steady
over the past several years," Robert Brackett, director of the FDA's
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, told reporters. "This will
be a sort of landmark rule that will help to decrease those number of
LONG TIME COMING
Consumer groups said they welcomed the stricter rules.
"It's been talked about and promised and we're glad the egg regulation
is finally out, but everything was in place to get this out almost five
years ago," said Caroline Smith DeWall, director of food safety for the
Center of Science in the Public Interest.
"It targets the right areas, which are farm-based controls that can
really eliminate this hazard," she added.
The biggest change will require large egg farms to test henhouses for
the disease. If salmonella enteritidis is found in the building, the
building must be disinfected, eggs must be tested and any contaminated
eggs cannot be sold on retail shelves.
"It's not going to be too hard for most of the industry to get up to
speed with this proposed regulation," said Hilary Shallo Thesmar,
director at the Egg Safety Center, a division of the American Egg Board
which represents the industry.
"The big (egg producers) who supply the major grocery store
chains...they already have food safety programs. They monitor their
farms. They test their eggs," she said.
The FDA estimated the rules would cost each large farm about $20,000
annually, while saving taxpayers $490 million each year.
"The estimated benefits are dramatic," said Lou Carson, deputy director
of food safety at the FDA. "The benefits are obviously for a safer food
product, but mostly they are derived from reduced hospitalization and
U.S. farm groups, consumer organizations and the public will have 90
days to comment on the rule after it is published in the Federal
Register this week.
Separately, the FDA also said it will work with the U.S. Agriculture
Department to decide if guidelines are needed to reduce illnesses from
serving undercooked eggs at retail outlets.
Message Boards Post/Read Msgs
Printer Version Formatted Story
Mail to Friend
Copyright © 2004 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or
redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the
prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any
errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance
Copyright © 2004 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
Questions or Comments
-Terms of Service
- Copyright Policy
More information about the Homestead