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US egg Salmonella prevention guidance issued

By Mark Astley , 02-Jan-2012

New US guidance on the prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in eggs through improved bio-security measures has been published, with the intention of preventing cross contamination.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) publication, Guidance for Industry Prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in Shell Eggs During Production, Storage, and Transportation, details preventative measures, how to sample for the pathogen and how to maintain documentation.

The FDA guidance simply details shell eggs bio-security as keeping Salmonella Enteritidis away from birds and birds away from the bacterium.

Limiting visitors

The new measures involve “the limiting of visitors on the farm and in poultry houses, maintaining personnel and equipment practices that will protect against cross contamination from one poultry house to another,” the FDA guidance said.

Preventing stray poultry, wild birds and other animals from entering poultry houses is also vital “to ensure that there is no introduction or transfer of (Salmonella Enteritidis) onto a farm or among poultry houses,” it added.

These measures include limiting visitors to farms and poultry houses and maintaining practices to protect against cross contamination when equipment and people move between poultry houses.

These measures can be broken down into three components: isolation, traffic control and sanitation.

The implementation of distance between farms or houses on a farm, physical barriers and the amount of time between depopulation and repopulation of poultry houses will limit the spread of Salmonella, according to the guidance.

“The goal of farm sanitation is to maintain a clean environment for the birds. Sanitation reduces the likelihood of SE coming in contact with the birds, and is, therefore, an important component of biosecurity,” the guidance added.

“Daily attention should be paid to the proper management and disposal of dead birds, loose birds, spilled feed, manure, and refuse.”

Draft guidance

The guidance, which was designed to provide recommendations to help egg producers further comply with FDA egg safety rules, was originally published as a draft for comment in August 2010.

However, changes have been made to the original draft.

Egg safety rules, which required producers to implement production, storage and transportation measures, were first issued by the FDA in July 2009.

Producers with at least 3,000, but less than 50,000 laying hens must comply with the new measures by July 2012.

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