HACCP / HACCP and eggs

HACCP and eggs

HACCP in egg production

Layer farms

HACCP systems are not in general use on farms or other sites of primary production although there is no reason why they should not be introduced to control the spread of pathogens associated with food poisoning and to control the uptake of unwanted chemical compounds. Therefore in relation to EU directives on “zoonoses control” a HACCP plan should be introduced in all forms of primary production, including layer farms.
To be able to implement an HACCP plan in an Egg Quality Assurance Programme several requirements for producers have to be specified. In this respect by definition a producer includes the supplier of chicks or feed.
With regard to producers the points to be considered include aspects of flock identification, hygiene and disease control, flock welfare, feed and water quality, egg collection systems including storage and delivery, and aspects of environmental protection in relation to hygiene management on the farm.
When these items are all well described a final HACCP plan can be made and implemented.
For a total Egg Quality Assurance Programme additional specifications for eggs should be given as well as details on the production conditions and on cleaning and disinfecting procedures to be applied.

A final HACCP plan on the layer farm can be drafted form the above and at that point one should consider the following critical phases:

1. Chicks history, pre-lay
2. Feed and storage
3. Water and storage
4. Packaging and storage
5. Egg collection and removal from production house
6. Egg handling and delivery to packing centre.

From these critical points, in terms of the HACCP concept, the CCP status, the hazard, the preventive measures, the limits, the available methods for monitoring, the corrective action to be taken and the method how to document the case should be specified. An example of a HACCP plan for layer farms is given.

Packing stations and egg processing plants

The same HACCP plan can be made for the packing station and further for the egg processing plant. Again the same principles should be applied. This means that the following points should be taken into consideration:
(a) decide on the safety and may be shelf life criteria, product and process design, and requirements for the distribution chain
(b) select materials and equipment
(c) set initial specifications, taking account of product requirements and the materials and equipment available
(d) provide working procedures and instructions

Example of a HACCP plan for layer farms (specific CCP's, hazards, preventive measures, limits, monitoring and control measures have to be added)




























Chicks history, Pre-lay



Disease carriers

Poultry from certified origin


Health check

Pathogen carrier status

Vaccination or medical treatment


Feed and storage






Product contamination due to pathogens and medication misuse



Feed from certified origin



Feed produced under certified conditions



cfu numbers

Pathogens (Salmonella)




statistics of analysis. Q-reports or certificates.

additional sampling



quarantain or refusal





Water and storage





public source or local well 


local well should be monitored regularly



comparable to public source quality



wells should be monitored once or twice a year



Expert advice





Packaging and storage





pests animals (mice, insects)

Hygiene location


Temperture regulation




regular C&D

Visual and mechanical checks





frequent monitoring of systems: catching devices; tempertature; humidity







Egg collection and removal from production house





hygiene of transport systems, both mechanically and hygienically



no mechanincal or hygienic defects





visual checks, constant monitoring of egg damage or pollution.








Egg handling and delivery to packing centre





hygiene of systems, both mechanically and hygienically



no mechanincal or hygienic defects





visual checks, constant monitoring of egg damage or pollution.