FDA is issuing draft guidance with practical and reasonable food safety controls to help egg producers who provide their laying hens with outdoor access comply with the Egg Safety Rule and thereby prevent Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) in shell eggs.  FDA believes the draft guidance will help clarify how the Egg Safety Rule applies to their operations so the egg producers can confidently and efficiently implement the appropriate food safety measures.

Recognizing that there are a wide variety of operations that offer their laying hens outdoor access, before issuing the draft guidance, FDA visited a number of farms to observe first-hand a range of laying operations with variations in poultry house design and field conditions.

The draft guidance describes different types of poultry houses and outdoor access areas and offers practical measures to control for SE by preventing wild birds, rodents, and other animals from entering the outdoor access areas and advice on conducting environmental sampling for SE.  It also discusses considerations related to vaccination of laying hens.

All interested parties are invited to comment on the draft guidance.

For additional information please see:

Draft Guidance for Industry: Questions and Answers Regarding the Final Rule, Prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in Shell Eggs During Production, Storage, and Transportation (Layers with Outside Access)

Eggs Guidance Documents & Regulatory Information

FDAVoice Blog: Spirit of Cooperation Informs Guidance for Egg Producers