New Government Ruling Is Reducing Safety Regulations of This One Food
Last month, we reported about deregulations in the meat industry, which directly impacted the quality and health of chickens that food companies use in meat production. Now, due to a similar rollback of safety measures in the egg industry, the staple food product may end up being less safe for human consumption.
In the first update to egg safety regulations in 50 years, the Trump administration announced today that it will significantly cut back on inspections at domestic egg producing plants. The new rule will remove full-time government inspectors from these food facilities, and will instead put the onus of increased food safety inspection on companies themselves.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, this change is taking effect immediately and will affects 83 plants that the agency has been inspecting. Additionally, the USDA will also take over the oversight of facilities that produce egg substitutes, which has traditionally fallen under the FDA's jurisdiction.
The new regulation will have inspectors visiting the egg processing plants only once per shift, instead of being there whenever egg products are being processed. Paul Kiecker, administrator of USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, said the inspectors will operate under a "patrol" system, visiting multiple plants each day.
This is the latest step in the administration's attempt to ease government regulations over the nation's food producers, a move that started long before the pandemic, back in 2018. It aims to make better use of inspectors and allows food companies to use their own new safety procedures, according to Kiecker.
However, some inspectors and public-interest groups have warned that this patrol system may lead to less effective inspections of the product, which would in turn lead to the slipping of safety and health standards in egg production.
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