Informative UEP Atlanta Meetings Well Attended

February 21, 2019

A large crowd of UEP members, Allied members and industry stakeholders gathered in Atlanta for meetings on February 11 and 12.

The Animal Welfare briefing included an update on the new portal and audit subcommittee recommendations presented by JT Dean, Animal Welfare Committee Chairman.  Other topics included updates on state welfare legislative issues and OIE Hen Standards.  For more details see “UEP Certified Updates” on page 4.

In the Food Safety Briefing Oscar Garrison, SVP of Food Safety Regulatory Affairs, and Randy Green, UEP’s regulatory consultant, provided an update on recent interactions with FDA including a petition to allow unrefrigerated surplus hatchery eggs into the egg products market.  Dr. Darrin Karcher of Purdue University provided an overview of the National Egg Laying Needs Assessment.  John Howeth from the AEB presented information about training videos on egg safety, cookery, and nutrition being developed for the restaurant industry.

The Animal Health and Biosecurity Briefing included updates on the virulent Newcastle outbreak, discussions with officials on eradication efforts and potential funding sources to stamp out the disease.   The USDA HPAI Flat Rate Virus Elimination proposal,  Secure Egg Supply Risk Assessment for the movement of pullets, and a proposal for a LPAI assessment in the future were also on the agenda.

In the Government Relations briefing, Green and Louie Perry, UEP’s legislative consultant, reviewed topics for potential position papers for the Washington DC Legislative meetings.  The committee choose workforce, animal health, and nutrition labeling for this year’s UEP position papers that will be presented to legislators in May.  Mark Perigen and Jennifer Porter of USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provided updates including a review of grader fee increases.

Tom Hebert, UEP’s Environmental Consultant, provided an updated on the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) during the Environment briefing.  The new rule was published to the federal register on February 14 which opens the 60-day comment period.  Hebert also reviewed resources to prepare for EPA compliance and enforcement inspections.

A separate meeting of the UEA Further Processors focused on many of the same issues covered in the food safety and animal health and biosecurity briefings.   In addition, updates were provided on the Egg Products Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) proposed rule and John Howeth of American Egg Board presented an overview of current egg products promotions.