US egg farmers have adopted new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety regulations in a bid to reduce salmonella.

“Egg farmers have practiced the requirements of the new regulations for many years now and have achieved significant success in food safety for our customers,” said Gene Gregory, president of United Egg Producers.

The programmes currently used by egg farmers are designed around food safety and consumer health, in the same way the FDA’s programme has been developed, United Egg Producers said.

FDA started on egg production safety regulations in 1999 to address concerns with Salmonella Enteritidis in eggs. During the FDA’s development process, United Egg Producers made suggestions to improve the original proposal for egg safety regulations and while many guidelines were adapted, some suggestions were not accepted.

“Although many important guidelines that we submitted to FDA were not considered, we will carefully study the entire final rule and work with FDA to make sure it is implemented in a way that is fair to producers and advances food safety for consumers,” said Gregory.

Egg producers said they are confident the programme will further reduce illness associated from contaminated eggs. It also added that the estimates of reduced illnesses published by the FDA are based on “statistical extrapolations used to estimate the total number of illnesses” and not on a count of illnesses that have “actually occurred” in the recent past.