New egg safety plans unveiled

By Philip Brasher, Des Moines Register

Egg producers and government regulators are separately taking steps to improve egg safety in the wake of a nationwide salmonella outbreak that was tied to farms in Iowa.

Producers “want nothing else to happen like what happened in Iowa,” said Howard Magwire, vice president of government relations for the United Egg Producers. The trade group is developing safety standards for the industry that would go beyond federal regulations.

The recall by two Iowa egg farms exposed gaps in government oversight that had long frustrated consumer advocates. As a result of the outbreak, the Food and Drug Administration, which is primarily responsible for egg safety but has a limited force of inspectors, plans to train Agriculture Department personnel in how to catch potential problems at egg farms and to conduct inspections.

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