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FSA Lay Egg Hygiene Plan on Farmers

by 5m Editor
7 May 2008, at 12:43pm

UK - The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has begun to seek views and comments on new draft guidance plans that aim to enforce a higher degree of hygiene regulations on egg production sites in the United Kingdom.

The key proposals of the plan are to provide guidance for enforcement bodies on typical inspection points on egg production farms, provide a standardised farm inspection report form for use when conducting hygiene inspections and provide guidance notes to accompany the farm inspection report form that give details of the relevant parts of the appropriate legislation. They hope to make the guidance available to enforcement bodies, trade organisations and egg producers

A Brief History in Hygiene

A new set of European Commission (EC) consolidated food hygiene regulations applicable throughout the food-chain (from 'farm to fork') came into effect on 1 January 2006.

The introduction of these regulations extended the scope of food hygiene legislation to be applicable on egg production sites for the first time.

Regulation (EC) 852/2004 defines general requirements on the hygiene of foodstuffs and Regulation (EC) 853/2004 lays down specific hygiene requirements for food of animal origin. The Regulations also include specific requirements for egg production sites (specifically annex 1 of EC Regulation 852/2004 and section X, chapter 1 of 853/2004).

Enforcement of the new requirements on egg production sites is undertaken under the auspices of the official feed and food control regulations Regulation (EC) 882/2004. Although the regulation is directly applicable, it is given effect in the UK through parallel statutory instruments in each UK country . These instruments also define the Food Standards Agency as the competent authority for the purposes of the community regulations (except where it has delegated competences as provided for in the community regulations).

Enforcement

Enforcement of the new requirements on egg production sites will be undertaken on behalf of the Agency by the Egg Marketing Inspectorate in England and Wales, Eggs and Poultry Unit in Scotland and DARD Quality Assurance Branch in Northern Ireland

To support the effective and consistent enforcement of the new requirements, the Agency contracted ADAS to develop draft guidance on behalf of the Food Standards Agency. Development of this guidance involved piloting the draft guidance through on-farm 'practice' inspections with enforcement inspectors.

To support the guidance, and where required, inspectors have received training to obtain an intermediate certificate in food hygiene and appropriate training in the format and application of the draft guidance materials.

5m Editor