September 10, 2020
US will stop requiring egg plants to have full-time government inspectors
The Trump administration said plants in the United States that produce egg products will not longer require full-time government inspectors, the firs time inspection measures were updated in 50 years, Reuters reported.
In this new rule that immediately takes effect, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will allow US plants that produce egg products such as Cargill and Sonstegard Foods to use different food-safety systems and procedures developed for their facilities and equipment.
However, some inspectors and public-interest groups are concerned that food safety could be jeapordised.
The USDA said the new rule impacts 83 plants that the agency has been inspection, adding that the agency will assume oversight from the US Food and Drug Administration of other facilities focused on egg substitute production.
Under the new rule, inspectors are only required to visit egg plants once per shift, rather than being there throughout the entire operation.
Paul Kiecker, administrator of USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, said the new rule is consistent with inspections for meat and poultry products. Inspectors will conduct visits under a patrol system, covering multiple plants daily.
Kiecker said the new rule means inspectors are better utilized and companies must create new food-safety measures, meaning producers have bulk of the food safety responsibility.
Food & Water Watch, an environmental group said the new patrol system could mean inspections aren't as effective.