• The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing to amend the egg products inspection regulations by requiring official plants that process egg products to develop Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) systems and Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (Sanitation SOPs) and to meet other sanitation requirements consistent with the meat and poultry regulations. Under the HACCP system, plants that process egg products will be afforded the flexibility to tailor a food safety system that best fits their particular facility and equipment.
  • Highlights of the proposed rule include:
    • Those regulatory provisions not consistent with that of USDA’s meat and poultry regulations would be eliminated
    • Generic approval would be permitted as part of the prior label approval system for egg products
    • Labeling requirements for shell eggs would be updated to be consistent with those in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) regulations
    • Special handling instructions would be required on egg products
    • Requirements for prior approval by FSIS of egg products plant drawings, specifications, and equipment would be eliminated
    • Egg products plants would be incorporated into the coverage of the “Rules of Practice” that the Agency follows when initiating administrative enforcement actions and
    • The Agency’s interpretation of the requirement for “continuous inspection” set out at 21 U.S.C. 1034(a) would be changed to be consistent with current inspection requirements applicable to meat and poultry processing operations such that inspection in egg products plants would be required at least once per shift, instead of during all processing operations.
  • USDA will be accepting comments on the proposed rule for 120 days following its imminent publication in the Federal Register.