The Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is proposing a number of changes to the egg products inspection regulations, including aligning the import requirements for eggs and egg products more closely with those for meat and poultry products. Comments on this proposed rule are due no later than June 13.
The import-related changes in this proposal include the following.
- adding definitions of certain basic terms, including “import,” “offered for entry,” “entry,” and “official import inspection establishment”
- establishing the identity of inspected and passed imported egg products as domestic products
- establishing the process and criteria FSIS will follow to evaluate the equivalence of the inspection programs of foreign countries interested in gaining eligibility to export egg products to the U.S.
- delineating the manner in which foreign governments will be required to maintain the equivalence of their egg products inspection programs, including their certification of eligible establishments, separation of certified from uncertified establishments, and audits to verify the ongoing equivalence of food safety and HACCP controls in certified establishments
- identifying the conditions under which imported egg products consignments with damaged containers may be reoffered for inspection
- requiring official import inspection establishments that reinspect egg products to meet the sanitation requirements in 9 CFR part 416
- establishing official inspection marks for imported egg products that are the same as those applied to imported meat and poultry products
- outlining a procedure for the pre-stamping of official marks of inspection on product containers prior to the completion of an inspection assignment
- clarifying procedures for the treatment and handling of imported egg products identified as “U.S. Refused Entry”
- including shipping or identification marks among the list of required items for the labeling of imported egg products shipping containers
- permitting only those egg products that have been refused entry into the U.S. solely because of misbranding to be brought in compliance with the labeling requirements of 9 CFR chapter III
- permitting the re-entry of inspected and passed egg products from foreign countries if they are not adulterated or misbranded at the time of such return