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Post-pesticides, eggs will deliver more info

Feb 24,2018
More detailed information will be stamped on eggs sold in Korea, according to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on Friday.

Previously, eggs had to be stamped with a code that indicated the farm and province it came from. The ministry decided that was insufficient after major retailers suspended egg sales nationwide last summer after the government found some eggs farmed in Korea were contaminated with pesticides

Under new standards, eggs will be stamped with the date they were laid, a serial number for the hen farm and a numerical code that indicates the hen’s breeding environment.

Buyers can look up the farm on a website operated by the ministry. The code for the farming environment indicates the space given to the layer hens. At the lowest end, one stands for free-range chickens and four denotes a caged environment in which a chicken gets less than 0.075 square meters of space.

An investigation last year discovered that the contamination of eggs with pesticides came from the practice of breeding layer hens in cages in which they can barely move. The pesticides were used to control mites and mites thrive in cramped cages.

The standards will be gradually applied from this April through February 2019.

“The purpose of the reform is to restore consumers’ confidence in eggs in the country and offer them more accurate information regarding the eggs’ freshness and farming environment,” the ministry said in a statement.

The food ministry was criticized for being slow in providing information during the pesticide egg crisis. After admitting last year that consumers were worried, the ministry has examined food safety regulations.


BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]