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Pennsylvania Egg Quality Assurance Program (PEQAP)

A voluntary certification program for egg producers and processors intended to minimize Salmonella enteritidis contamination of chicken eggs.

Although the Pennsylvania Egg Quality Assurance Program (PEQAP) does not guarantee shell eggs to be free of SE contamination, the program does assure consumers of the commitment producers and processors are making to prevent SE contamination.

Basic preventive measures include placement of SE clean chicks, intensive rodent control, cleaning and disinfecting between flocks, and environmental monitoring of pullet and layer houses with continuous testing of eggs from any SE positive houses. Eggs from SE positive houses are diverted for pasteurization. Eggs must be kept refrigerated.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture provides third party monitoring of the program as well as technical, administrative, and financial support. The Pennsylvania Department of Health provides technical advice regarding public health implications. PEQAP participants are assuring the public that they are taking every reasonable precaution to assure the safety of their eggs.