October 3, 2019
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), working with USDA Food Nutrition Service, has updated the Commodity Procurement guidance document to educate recipients and transportation companies on the importance of properly assessing ambient temperatures. The guidance is specifically provided for recipients electing to check the ambient temperature in a transport unit containing shell eggs contracted for delivery under the USDA Commodity Purchase Program. During periods of extremely high temperatures and when trucks are making multiple drops in a very short time, it can be difficult to properly assess the ambient temperature, which can result in the unnecessary rejection of loads. The updated guidance provides food banks with additional resources when they find higher egg temperatures upon delivery.
Regulations 9 CFR 590.50 promulgated under the authority of the Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, state that shell eggs destined for the ultimate consumer must be stored and transported under refrigeration at an ambient temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Most other products requiring refrigeration are held at an internal temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less.
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