Cracking the Egg Industry

Posted by Mike Motta

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Recent recalls over the last decade, particularly salmonella-related, have created a heightened food safety awareness within the United States egg processing community. And with this new intensified focus on the industry, egg processing companies are looking for further support in their egg washing, cleaning, and sanitizing practices. In the wake of such recalls, 1the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing to amend the egg products inspection regulations by requiring official plants that process egg products to develop Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) systems and Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs) and to meet other sanitation requirements consistent with the meat and poultry regulations. FSIS is proposing that official plants will be required to produce egg products in such a way that the finished product is free of detectable pathogens.

Ensuring you are producing safe products sounds like a simple process. But there are many variables potentially preventing your products from entering the food chain free from harmful organisms. Inadequate plant sanitation, challenges in controlling pests, and insufficient egg washing, are just a few of the many variables plaguing your efforts in producing a safe product. The good news is, you’re not alone. Every food processor in every market segment across the globe is facing the same challenges. And as daunting as it may seem, particularly with new regulations coming down the pike, we can help. And we can help in many ways.

Rochester Midland Corp (RMC) is a global chemical supplier of cleaning and sanitizing, and egg washing products for every egg wash and egg break application. Understanding no two processing facilities are identical, we have a comprehensive line of products affording us several chemical formula options to choose from, making sure you’re getting the best results for your operation. Furthermore, we have R&D capabilities to formulate products for unique applications and distinct environments; i.e. hard water areas, undesirable airflow, adverse water pressure, etc.

In addition to, and more important than, a complete line of proven sanitation and egg wash products, our customers are serviced by a local tenured service rep that possesses multiple food safety certifications including but not limited to Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Safe Quality Foods, (SQF). Having a chemical supplier proficient in helping you keep up with USDA/FSIS regulations, build and maintain your HACCP plan, create and validate your SSOPs, and provide guidance on best practices in cleaning and sanitizing is a major plus and a must-have in today’s stringent egg processing world.

There are many areas in which your chemical supplier should be supporting your food safety efforts. For instance, executing a preventive maintenance program to ensure your chemical mixing and dispensing equipment is operating correctly is paramount to running a smooth and effective chemical program. Your supplier’s main focus should be to observe your operation and sanitation programs during routine service visits and where applicable, recommend more efficient ways to operate, while staying consistent with food safety practices. During every service visit, your supplier should ensure your programs are running safe and cost effective.

As an example, depending on your operation, one of the many areas in which RMC helps its customers is ensuring all egg washing systems are operating in compliance with the USDAs Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs) for 2Egg Cleaning Operations (CFR 590.515), 3Sanitizing and Drying of Shell Eggs Prior to Breaking (CFR 590.516), and 4Cleaning and Sanitizing Requirements (CFR 590.552). Without proper guidance and preventive maintenance from your chemical supplier, these operating parameters will eventually collapse.

We know these regulations are getting more severe – I think we can all agree it’s for the good of the consumer – and to minimize the risk of a recall, tarnishing your brand, or even worse; a fatal food borne illness, do yourself a favor and choose your chemical supplier wisely. Make sure it’s capable of helping you prevent unsafe products entering the food chain. And, should a recall happen, your chemical supplier should be in lockstep with you in identifying the root cause and developing a corrective action plan to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Supplying just a chemical product line is not enough these days. I encourage you to look closer at the capabilities of your chemical supplier and make sure it can support your food safety initiatives.

And last, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention RMC is an Allied member of the United Egg Producers (UEP). We use this platform to continue educating ourselves on the latest regulations and staying current on breaking news. But most importantly, our membership provides an opportunity for us to help the egg producing community by offering our expertise and many years of food safety experience, through workshops, committee volunteering, and helping fund some UEP programs. We genuinely want to help because keeping food safe is our business and it’s your brand.

Should you want to hear more about RMCs egg washing and sanitation programs, please click here and request one of our food safety experts contact you to discuss how we can help protect your brand.

1https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2018/01/09/usda-announces-proposed-rule-amend-egg-products-inspection

 2 https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2012-title9-vol2/pdf/CFR-2012-title9-vol2-sec590-515.pdf

3 https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2011-title9-vol2/pdf/CFR-2011-title9-vol2-sec590-516.pdf

 4 https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2012-title9-vol2/pdf/CFR-2012-title9-vol2-sec590-552.pdf

Topics: Egg, Sanitation, Egg Cleaning, Egg Sanitation, Egg wash, United Egg Processors, Shell egg

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