• On January 14, 2022, the FDA and the National Egg Regulatory Officials (NERO) announced the Egg Regulatory Program Standards (ERPS), a program which provides state regulators of egg and egg products with best practices for the implementation of their egg and egg-product regulatory programs.
  • By way of background, regulation of eggs and egg products is handled by FDA, USDA, as well as state regulators. At the federal level, FDA regulates shell eggs while USDA regulates egg products. However, many states conduct egg inspections under the authority of state laws and regulations and/or the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, including egg inspections contracted out by FDA to the states. ERPS is intended to encourage uniformity in this complex regulatory landscape and to provide a model system that best protects the public health.
  • ERPS consists of the following 10 standards that establish requirements for a model state regulatory program which will protect the public from outbreaks of food-borne illness in egg and egg products:
    1. Regulatory Foundation – evaluation of the state program’s regulatory authority;
    2. Staff Training – written training plans and continuing education;
    3. Inspection – written safety inspection and sampling procedures;
    4. Quality Assurance – written procedures to audit the effectiveness of inspection and sampling;
    5. Egg and Egg Product-related Incident Response – written procedures to respond to contamination or adulteration of egg or egg product incidents;
    6. Enforcement – a documented enforcement program;
    7. Industry Outreach – outreach and communication to stakeholders;
    8. Resource Management – assessment of the resource needs of the program;
    9. Program Assessment – periodic reassessment of the regulatory program against the criteria established by ERPS; and
    10. Laboratory Support – adequate access to labs to support the program.
  • Implementation of ERPS is voluntary and currently only California and Iowa are enrolled; both these states were involved in the development of ERPS.