Regulations and the egg debate

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Dear Editor,

Re: Ban – compliance and health issue 

The very interesting thing about the egg debate is the fact as stated by the Minister that the eggs must be sold within 30 days of the date of laying according to the Samoa Egg Regulation. 

According to American regulations, the date that you place on the egg carton must be compliant to the regulations of the State or country that you are exporting to.

In the US, 30 days is the norm and therefore egg-packing plants will pack the eggs and use and print a sell by date 30 days beyond this packing date.

I find it amusing that the importer is stating that these eggs fully conform to American legislation and date requirements, as based on the American eggs standards and those that apply in Samoa, because this is completely false.

Going by the dates presented in the article, you have the following code on the carton:

061 P1185 16, followed by the Sell by Date of May 30th 2017

There is no legal way you could sell these eggs with the sell by date of May 30th in the US State from which these eggs come from especially as this US State requires a 30 day sell by date from date of packing if sold in this State as a “fresh egg”.

How is this worked out? The “061” number in the code is what is called a Julian Date. When you convert it to what we consider a “normal date” 061 means the eggs were laid by the chicken on the 1st of March 2017 and packed on the 2nd of March.

To put the sell by date at a full 90 days after they were laid is a clear violation of Samoan regulations and certainly begs the question of who would have knowingly instructed the packing plant which in this case is P1185 as per the code or is:

Weaver Bros., Inc.

895 E. Main Street

Versailles, OH 45380-0333

to pack to a date that is not compliant with Samoan regulations.

I am actually puzzled that we are asking SROS to test these eggs as if the eggs are out of the Regulation stated time-frames then they should be unreservedly pulled off the shelves.

As they are doing the testing anyway, I hope that they are doing the full range of tests that include the requirement that “Fresh Eggs” also comply with FDA Quality standards in addition to the very important and health threatening health standards.

The greatest assistance that could be provided would be from our Quarantine department at Matautu. I would strongly encourage them to investigate how the importing plant has falsely represented the sell by date.

By clearly indicating on the import permit that 30 days sell by date must be clearly on the egg carton from the date of packing it would be a great assistance to everyone concerned.

 

Edwin Tamasese

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