Mandatory HACCP for Egg farms?

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On 17 July 2010, following routine surveillance tests on local poultry farms, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore found residues of an antibiotic (doxycycline) in eggs produced by a local farm. As the presence of doxycycline in eggs is a food safety issue, AVA has immediately suspended the farm from selling their eggs and taking any birds or eggs out of the farm.

The AVA is the national authority on food safety for both primary and processed food. The AVA guidelines on licencing of meat, fish and egg processing establishments state that HACCP or similar food safety management systems should be present to ensure the production of safe and wholesome food for human consumption. However, HACCP is not mandatory for licencing of Egg farms. Currently, only a handful of local egg farmers have established HACCP plans.

HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point. HACCP provides an organised framework to identify hazards and develop monitoring and control procedures at critical points with some objectivity. The development of a formal programme, such as a HACCP Plan, is an accepted way of ensuring that management practices are in place to safeguard farm biosecurity.

HACCP techniques have been applied for many years to develop food safety plans and countries such as Australia ,New Zealand and United States have incorporated the use of HACCP in Egg farms. FAO and WHO have compiled and presented a report by the US on the country’s method of maintaining food safety in egg production practices. WPSA also acknowledges the importance of HACCP in Egg farms.

In my opinion, the AVA should take a firm stance through implementing a new policy making HACCP mandatory in all local Egg farms, which will prevent contaminated eggs from reaching the public. It is hoped that SIFST and AVA could work towards this mutual goal in the near future.

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One Response to “Mandatory HACCP for Egg farms?”

  1. sjohnston101 Says:

    As you pointed out in your post, one by-product of globalization of food production is the risk of contaminated foods reaching the marketplace. This is a particular issue when countries importing and exporting items have different regulatory practices. Although one can never really be assured of how one’s food is being grown, short of producing it ourselves, more small-scale local production of food might be more conducive to safer supply than factory-produced foods that are then transported across vast geographic distances. While the issue of contaminated foods is absolutely not limited to imported and exported foods, I think there is a role of large-scale agriculture in the issue of compromised food safety.

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