Egg plays an important role in Taiwan's industry for being a crucial product in every citizen’s daily diet. In order to elevate egg production quality and enhance the self-management as well as responsibility for product safety of the producers, the Council of Agriculture (COA) has launched the bulk eggs traceability system since September 1, 2015, requesting vendors to mark egg containers with traceability labels. The labels contain the information, such as name of the source farm and a QR code, enabling consumers to access the egg traceability system website (http://www.tafte-poultry.org.tw) simply by scanning the QR code with mobile devices and to obtain relevant information about the source farm.
Eggs Traceability System implements the counseling for source farm
The COA pointed out that the general public is becoming more conscientious about food hygiene and safety. Therefore the Ministry of Health and Welfare has announced the list of vendors that are required to adopt food and relevant product traceability system. The Council has categorized eggs to be a priority product for implementing the traceability system, especially bulk eggs without whole packaging. A traceability system would be helpful to track down the source of unqualified eggs, improve the production management of poultry farms, reduce the risk of chemical residue; as a result, ensure the safety of egg consumption.
Domestic egg distribution and labeling
The COA further explained that there are an estimated 1,700 poultry farms keeping up to 3.6 million hens which supply between 1.8 million to 1.9 million eggs each day. Currently, there are 63% of all fresh bulk eggs used mainly by breakfast businesses, catering services, bakeries and traditional markets, while washed eggs take 25%, CAS washed eggs 4%, and 8% for processing respectively. Traditionally bulk eggs were transported with plastic boxes and those boxes lacked any labeling of origin which increased the difficulty for tracing the sanitary and safety management of the source farm. However, this problem could be solved by the traceability system in the near future.
Eggs traceability management system
The COA reiterated that in order to enhance egg sanitation and safety as well as to improve the communication with poultry farms, the Poultry Association of the Republic of China is relentlessly promoting the implementation of eggs traceability system. Their major tasks at hand include the establishment of a database for eggs traceability system, printing and distributing the traceability stickers, and egg sample inspection among others. Under this project, the farms would not need a verification process but simply an easy application in order to receive the traceability sticker. The mechanism is to ensure the expansion and coverage of the system. Nevertheless, bulk eggs coming out of the farms are required to be labeled on each container before they were delivered to transporters or egg dealers. Moreover, hennery owners are requested to declare the number of stickers used and needed on a monthly basis as a reference for Poultry Association to inspect and issue the stickers. In addition, the Association would send agents to conduct egg inspection at source farms and markets, thus ensuring the effective implementation of the farmers for safeguarding consumers’ health.