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item Jones, Deana

Submitted to: National Egg Regulatory Officials Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/26/2002
Publication Date: 5/20/2002
Citation: Jones, D.R. 2002. Processing audits: problems and perspectives. National Egg Regulatory Officials Annual Meeting Proceedings. p. 45-46.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The current USDA Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) shell egg processing audit procedures was established in May 2001. It is a voluntary program that serves to provide volume customers with an evaluation of quality programs utilized in a shell egg processing facility. There are several pitfalls in the current program. There can be great degrees of variability in the interpretation of compliance from one auditor to another. Also, a maximum score for each item is given, but no clarifications for exact scoring are given. Furthermore, the ability of the program to truly assess a shell egg processing program is questionable. Of the 1000 points available in the audit, only 6% are assigned in the area of plant sanitation. Employee safety only receives 4.5% of the total score. Whereas, HACCP, which is a voluntary program for shell egg processors and not regulated by a governmental agency, receives 12% of the total points. From these points, it becomes difficult to determine the true goal of the current audit program. Without a well-defined goal, an auditing program will not be successful.