Hearings underway on egg regulations with food safety focus

Sacramento, California - Food safety is of paramount importance to California farmers and to us at the Calfiornia Department of Food and Agricutlure (CDFA). We are constantly striving to work with farmers, consumers, scientists and others to make sure outbreaks are mitigated through effective communication, and that investment is made in research that can prevent outbreaks in the first place.

As part of our enduring mission to continually improve food safety practices, CDFA has proposed regulatory changes that would improve the safety of eggs produced here in California and those imported from other states. Specifically, these regulations will implement practices that can reduce the risk of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) contamination.

If adopted, the proposed regulations would require a mandatory SE prevention plan for shell egg producers with a flock size of 3,000 or more layers. The rules would satisfy the requirements of recent regulatory changes at the federal level, and would add key testing and vaccination requirements designed to take advantage of the latest scientific knowledge about detecting SE and preventing its entrance into the human food supply. The proposed regulation would also define confinement areas for flock size, and would include a labeling requirement for shell eggs sold in California so that consumers would know the farmers had complied with the new rules.

CDFA’s Meat, Poultry and Egg Safety Branch (MPES) held the first of two public hearings regarding the proposed changes earlier this month, with the second scheduled for October 15 in Sacramento.

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