Egg processor food safety requirements
The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) contains standards to regulate food sold in Australia and New Zealand, including Chapter 4: Primary Production and Processing Standards.
The Standard aims to reduce the incidence of illness associated with eggs by requiring egg producers and processors to implement a Food Safety Management Statement. The Standard also prohibits the sale of cracked or dirty (unacceptable) eggs, and specifies traceability with egg stamping.
Why the need for the Standard
Salmonella is the main microorganism of concern with eggs and egg products and can occur at the time of, or soon after, the egg is laid. Despite the low frequency of Salmonella contaminated eggs in Australia, there is a potential risk of illness from consumption of raw or lightly-cooked eggs, or the consumption of uncooked foods containing raw egg.
Businesses required to comply
Standard 4.2.5 Primary Production & Processing Standard for Eggs and Egg Products sets out food safety requirements for the primary production and processing of eggs, egg pulp and other egg product(s) for human consumption.
Egg processors are businesses that do the following to eggs:
- pack (including re-packing eggs)
- assess for cracks
Egg processors exclude:
- retail sale or wholesale of eggs
- restaurants, cafes, canteens, takeways, caterers or any commercial kitchen that uses eggs.
The Standard captures both primary production and food business activities.
Primary producers that undertake primary production (grow, harvest, catch) or a combination of primary production and food business activities will be regulated by Biosecurity SA (Primary Industry and Resources SA).
Food business activities covered by Standard 4.2.5 will be regulated by Local Government and SA Health under the Food Act 2001.
Businesses that are not covered by Standard 4.2.5 - Primary Production and Processing Standard for Eggs and Egg Product and Chapter 3 of the Code are inspected by Local Government.
Food Safety Management Statement
A Food Safety Management Statement is the systematic examination of your business’s processing operations. It allows you to identify potential hazards and implement control measures to address the hazards.
Your business's Food Safety Management Statement must be verified (audited) as per the assigned frequency, which will be between 6 to 18 months, based on the performance of the business.
If you are classified as an egg processor, or if you are unsure about being captured, please contact SA Health or your Local Council.