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Audit of Official Controls carried out on the Table Egg Production Chain

Monday, 20 June 2022

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) today publishes its audit of official controls carried out on the table egg production chain. The FSAI has overall responsibility for the enforcement of food law in Ireland. It carries out targeted audits of food businesses to determine the level of compliance with current food law and the effectiveness of its implementation.

This audit was part of the planned programme of audits of official controls, undertaken by the FSAI. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted on the audit process in that its timelines were extended due to Government restrictions and parts were conducted remotely. The onsite verification components were in person and face-to-face. The Government restrictions which were in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 were always adhered to. The audit was carried out using documentation contained in the FSAI business management system i.e., the Audit Charter and FSAI Audit procedure. The FSAI team were at all times accompanied throughout the audit by representatives from the Poultry and Egg Section of Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).

The primary objective of the audit was to assess the effectiveness of official controls carried out by the Poultry and Egg Section of DAFM relating to the table egg production chain. A secondary objective was to verify compliance by selected food business operators with the relevant requirements of food law that applied to their establishments.

There is a structured and organised system of official controls in place for the supervision of food businesses involved in the table egg industry and those involved in official controls are suitably qualified and trained to perform this work. Official controls across all aspects of the table eggs production process from collection, transporting, packing, warehousing, distribution, and retail sale of table eggs are carried out on a risk basis. Records of official controls are maintained and a copy of same is issued to the food business operator. Standard operating procedures for carrying out official controls have been documented. In addition, procedures are in place for the notification to DAFM by those who wish to engage in the table egg industry, each of which have been issued with a unique identification number. Food businesses inspected had a food safety management system in place and associated records commensurate with the nature and extent of the operation.

The report makes a series of recommendations and where breaches were identified, the food businesses audited have undertaken corrective actions.

The audit report is available here. The corrective action plan can be found here.