Egg Industry Responds with Action

For over a decade, the egg industry has beenactively working to address the problem with Salmonella Enteritidis ineggs.  Egg producers are working to minimize the incidence of SE in eggsand therefore helping to reduce illnesses caused by eggs.  Based on illnessstatistics from the CDC, progress has been made and illnesses due to SE havedecreased 22% since 1996.

QA Programs

Quality assurance (QA) programs introduced over thepast decade are one example of the industry’s commitment to address theproblem.  Many states have voluntary QA programs that producers haveimplemented and the United Egg Producers has a 5 Star Program.  Theseprograms are comprehensive in scope and address issues such as proper eggwashing, rodent and pest control at the farm, and refrigeration of eggs. 

Refrigeration and Labeling

The  industry worked with the FDA to implementa refrigeration rule for eggs sold at retail stores.  The regulation wentinto effect in June of 2001.  Most eggs were already being refrigerated, howeverthis rule made refrigeration mandatory.  The industry also worked with theFDA to put safe handling instructions on all egg cartons.  The statement oncartons reads:    

            Toprevent illness from bacteria:  keepeggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks are firm, and cook food containing eggsthoroughly. 

Educational Information

The industry provides educational information toconsumers and foodservice personnel through the American Egg Board, and tohealth care professionals through the ENC.  The American Egg Board is afounding member of the Partnership for Food Safety Education and is dedicated toeducating consumers on proper food handling to reduce the incidence of foodborneillness.


The egg industry sponsors research to study ways toprevent SE in eggs.  Research studies have focused on using vaccines toprevent hens from becoming infected with SE, and evaluating refrigeration ofeggs and measuring typical temperatures of eggs and predicting SE growth. 


The goal of the egg industry is to eliminate theincidence of SE in eggs and to prevent human illnesses from eggs.  They areworking very hard to achieve that goal.

Food Safety
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