FDA seeking input on major ETX industry

FDA seeking input on major ETX industry
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 10:20am

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking the public for their input in helping create a draft guidance for a prevalent East Texas industry, egg production.

The FDA's most recent action is related to the "Egg Safety Rule," a 2009 regulation enacted to help combat the spread of Salmonella Enteritidis, the most common form of illness outbreaks with the consumption of shell eggs. Since the 1990s, the bacteria has been linked to 45 live poultry outbreaks, including 221 hospitalizations and five deaths.

The illness generally lasts up to a week and does not require treatment. However, people infected may experience severe diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.

The guidance is currently in a comment phase before the final draft is crafted. Egg producers of only 3,000 or more laying hens would be affected. 

While the guidance is intended to help egg producers meet the requirements of the ESR, it does not establish legally enforceable responsibilities. 

According to the FDA, the ESR enacts preventative measures during the production of eggs in poultry houses and requires refrigeration during storage and transportation.

The U.S. currently produces more than 11 percent, or 91.4 billion pounds, of the world's egg supply.

In 2009, the Texas egg industry produced 3.8 billion eggs from 14.4 million laying hens, according to Texas A&M University. The industry is responsible for generating 1,890 jobs in Texas, along with contributing $900 million to the state's economy.

You can submit an electronic public comment by visiting regulations.gov

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