USDA proposes new inspection rules for egg products

USDA proposes new inspection rules for egg products
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The Trump administration is proposing new safety rules for egg products that are used in food items like cake and pudding mixes, pasta, ice cream and mayonnaise. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) proposed a rule Tuesday that would require producers to develop safety plans and ensure eggs are free of detectable pathogens like salmonella.

Egg products refer to eggs that are removed from their shells for processing at facilities called "breaker plants.” Egg products include whole eggs, egg whites and egg yolks in frozen, refrigerated, liquid and dried forms that are available in a number of different products, according to the American Egg Board. 

USDA said the rule will require plants to develop Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points systems and sanitation standard operating procedures and to meet other sanitation requirements consistent with the meat and poultry regulations.

The agency said in its proposed rulemaking that it's proposing to specify in the regulations that plants must make their egg products edible without additional preparation to achieve food safety. 

“As we continue to modernize inspection systems and processes, we are committed to strengthening consistency across the services that FSIS inspection personnel carry out for the consuming public," Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Carmen Rottenberg said in a statement.

“This proposed rule will ensure the same level of inspection and oversight of all regulated products as we carry out our public health mission."

The new rulemaking is one of the first to come from the Trump administration, which has been focused on paring back regulations.

The public will have 120 days to comment on the rule.