May 4, 2022
Egg producers in Denmark adhere to rules in preventing salmonella, assessment finds
Most egg producers in Denmark are following the rules and recommendations to prevent salmonella contamination, according to the results of an assessment.
A check by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (Fødevarestyrelsen) found that nine in 10 egg producers are in control of the procedures they must follow to keep eggs salmonella-free.
Denmark achieved special status for salmonella in table eggs in 2012 due to a history of low incidence and a tight control programme that goes beyond European requirements. This recognition is important for domestic food safety and confidence in exports.
Fødevarestyrelsen carries out annual inspections of the sector and has noted an increase in salmonella-infected flocks since 2018. In late 2021, a salmonella Enteritidis outbreak that affected 18 people was traced to Danish eggs.
The latest inspection from March to June 2021 found that producers generally show a high level of compliance in relation to having a self-monitoring programme that meets the requirements and the majority follow the programme to prevent or deal with salmonella.
However, there are still areas where some do not meet elements set out in their self-monitoring plans. The control also showed that producers who do not comply with the rules probably lack knowledge.
Overall, 47 inspection visits were carried out with 43 being completed without sanctions. A total of 46 of the controlled companies had a self-monitoring programme that met the requirements.
During the inspections, a checklist was reviewed with supplementary questions for things recommended in an industry code of practice but not required in the rules.
At the farms where there were violations of the rules, there was often more than one issue. Guidance was given in the areas of maintenance, hygienic design and the physical outdoor layout, and emphasis was placed on pest control. The majority had an agreement with an external pest control company and said they follow up on any reports they receive.
Problems were related to tidiness and condition of buildings, egg packing rooms and the surroundings, animal control and feed storage. Pests are a source of introducing salmonella to poultry flocks. Inspectors also found room for improvement with some of the documentation relating to cleaning frequency and salmonella samples.
Most sites followed the industry code of practice but the biggest challenges appeared to be clear division between areas into clean and unclean zones where clothes are changed, the possibility of access to the egg packing room for the driver from the packing plant, as well as tidiness around the feed silo.
- Food Safety News