The egg safety rule was issued in July 2009, and its provisions went into effect a year later for the largest egg producers (those with 50,000 or more laying hens). There are also recommendations that address five provisions of the egg safety rule: SE prevention measures, environmental testing for SE, testing eggs for SE, sampling methodology and record keeping for SE prevention plans.
"Producers should select and implement only those recommendations and options from this guidance that are most appropriate and will be most effective for their particular farm and situation," said the FDA.
The guidance also addresses biosecurity elements such as traffic barriers and sanitation, pest control, cleaning and disinfection, and related record keeping.
The rules will apply to intermediate-sized firms — those with 3,000 to 50,000 birds — in July 2012. Smaller farms are exempt from the rules. The FDA has projected that the new safety measures could reduce the number of SE infections from eggs by 60% and prevent as many as 30 Salmonella-related deaths each year.