The National Chicken Council this week filed comments with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on their “Guidance for Industry: Questions and Answers Regarding the Final Rule, Prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in Shell Eggs During Production, Storage, and Transportation,” published July 13 in the Federal Register. Specifically, NCC urged FDA either to amend the final rule to exempt hatching eggs from the rule, reopen the comment period, so NCC had the opportunity to provide meaningful comment as hatching eggs were exempt from the proposed rule, or clarify in its final guidance document that the rule does not apply to surplus hatching eggs destined for further processing.

“Because of the significant adverse impact the final rule will have on the broiler industry” the comments also included a reference to the petition NCC filed with the Agency which was inadequately answered.  A copy of NCC Comments on Egg Safety Rule is available for downloading.

Additionally, NCC filed comments with the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regarding their “Salmonella Verification Sampling Program; Response to Comments on New Agency Policies and Clarification of Timeline for Salmonella Initiative Program (SIP).”  While outlining the merits of the SIP program, NCC stated “by requiring establishments to participate in SIP to maintain their operating waivers, FSIS is in effect making participation mandatory and imposing on establishments specific action levels for non-adulterant pathogens.”

The main thrust of the comments, however, included an in-depth discussion about how the Agency was not following the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) which allows for notice and comment rulemaking.  A copy of NCC Comments on Docket No FSIS-2008-0008 SIP Program DOC is available for downloading.