COA urges rules on sales of eggs with cracked shells

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Aug 15, 2018 - Page 3

There is no regulation on whether eggs with cracked shells can be sold, a Council of Agriculture (COA) official and an egg retailer said yesterday, urging the Ministry of Health and Welfare to clarify standards and guidelines.

Taoyuan-based egg product supplier Yuanshan (元山蛋品有限公司) on Saturday was found to have used spoiled eggs to make liquid egg products, which were sold to restaurants and bakeries.

There was no problem with where Yuanshan sourced its eggs, but it failed to preserve them in good condition or to remove spoiled eggs, said Lee Yi-chien (李宜謙), the head of the council’s poultry farming section.

Egg vendors do not accept broken eggs, but might accept those whose shells are cracked or damaged, he said, rebutting Yuanshan’s claims that it was standard industry practice.

Eggs with broken shells are used to make fertilizer or fodder, he added.

The ministry should decide whether eggs with damaged shells can be sold, he said.

With local egg supply declining this year, the wholesale price has risen from NT$22.5 per jin (斤, 600g) in April to NT$31.5, Taipei Egg Retailers’ Union chairman Kao Chuan-mo (高傳謨) said, adding that poultry farmers often ask retailers to take eggs with cracked shells as well and decide on how to deal with them.

The ministry should set up standards for egg sales so vendors would know what to do, Kao said, recalling how some vendors became the subject of investigation during last year’s scandal over dioxin and fipronil-tainted eggs.

While the maximum allowable residue of fipronil in poultry products has been eased from 5 to 10 parts per billion in November, many poultry farmers have become wary of using insecticides in their farms, resulting in more poultry diseases and reduced production of eggs, he said.