DEFRA consults egg sector on salmonella enforcement rules
Source of Article: http://www.fwi.co.uk/Articles/2009/03/16/114743/defra-consults-egg-sector-on-salmonella-enforcement.html
The government is looking to expand the scope of the "Eggs and Chicks (England) Regulations" to cover the salmonella monitoring and controls on eggs intended for human consumption, as required under the National Control Plan. Every EU country has been required to implement its own NCP under the EU Zoonoses Regulation, outlining how they are to monitor and reduce the incidence of salmonella in eggs.
Under the DEFRA proposal, the definition of Class B eggs is to be extended to cover those from laying flocks which are either positive for S enteritidis and typhimurium or are of "unknown health status." The latter occurs as the result of a producer failing to carry out sampling as required by the NCP.
In the consultation letter, DEFRA is seeking views on how the most cost-effective enforcement arrangements can be put in place.
There are three options: Enforce the rules using existing legislation, introduce a system of variable fines with the possibility of a criminal offence penalty, or third, a criminal offence penalty but no fines. The cost to the egg industry of the options range from £27,000 to £49,000.
The deadline for responses is 24 April 2009.
by Richard Allison
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