Every element of the supply chain, from pullet to plate, has a collective responsibility to maintain consumer trust in the egg industry, by ensuring they deliver the safest product possible to the next part of the chain.

Challenging current practices, being alert to change and avoiding complacency are key. Managing food safety risks such as Salmonella throughout the egg supply chain requires a systematic process, which starts with the birds.

As such, Elanco’s Food Safety Program (FSP) is supporting farmers’ aim to keep Salmonella off their farms and remain Salmonella-free in the long term.

The program has been developed over the past three years in association with Noble Foods and is a science-based, pragmatic tool for the industry.

Pinpointing risks

Developed by poultry producers and vets, a unique algorithm generates a bespoke Food Safety Index (FSI) score for each farm to identify potential risk factors, as part of an on-farm review.

Once the gaps have been highlighted, the FSI score and accompanying FSP report can guide farms through decisions on the best actions to take to improve food safety measures and minimise the risk of Salmonella to a flock.

In summary, the process is to measure, understand, improve and monitor progress. There is no pass or fail; FSP is about continuous improvement.

Solutions for farmers and packers

Jeremy Marsh, Elanco strategic account manager, explains that there is no silver bullet for keeping Salmonella out of the supply chain; instead, it needs a combination of robust procedures and targeted interventions, specific to each business.

“FSP supports fully integrated Salmonella prevention, which starts with protecting and building bird immunity from day 1 of the bird’s life.

“This has to be in partnership with other preventative measures to disrupt infection chains.

“Rodent control, biosecurity, as well as cleaning and disinfection are just three examples that help to reduce infection pressure. Staff education and understanding need to go hand in hand with improved protocols to make sure teams are willing to follow them,” he says.

“Good flock management and optimal housing conditions are also essential to achieve good bird health which, in turn, makes the flock less likely to be susceptible to Salmonella infection.

“A suitable way to monitor the effect of changes made needs to be set up, focusing on specific risk factors identified by the FSI, with an increased index score reflecting successful implementation,” says Jeremy.

Consumer trust

Market penetration by Lion Code eggs is now above 95% and more than three quarters of consumers recognise the brand.

It is seen as the quality stamp by producers, packers and retailers alike and is under constant review, including regular auditing and vaccine efficacy trials. [1]

However, Jeremy explains that using innovative tools, such as FSP, and ensuring traceability are crucial to reassure retailers and the public that the industry continues to innovate to ensure Salmonella safety and prevention.

“Elanco wants to help ensure consistency throughout the whole supply chain, and robust benchmarking between farms through its FSI score, will help businesses quantify and minimise risks,” he says.

App coming soon

A new FSP app will soon be available, to streamline the on-farm review with rapid report generation to help guide producers on the best steps to improve food safety.

For more information, please visit the FSP website or contact the Elanco Animal Health team on 01256 353131.

Elanco UK AH Limited, First Floor, Form 2, Bartley Way, Bartley Wood Business Park, Hook RG27 9XA. Telephone: 01256 353131 Email: elancouk@elanco.com. For further information, consult the product SPC. Advice should be sought from the medicine prescriber prior to use. Use medicines responsibly www.noah.co.uk/responsible. Elanco and the diagonal bar logo are trademarks of Elanco or its affiliates. © 2021 Elanco or its affiliates. Date of preparation: 05/21. PM-UK-21-0459.

[1] From Mark Williams presentation at FSP launch event 2020