,Lay Hong Bhd's packaged eggs seen on at a hypermarket. (Filepic) PETALING JAYA: Shares of Lay Hong Bhd fell yesterday, following news that production at its Jeram 1 farm in Selangor had been suspended after Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) had been found in the eggs exported from the farm. Lay Hong, which is engaged in integrated livestock farming, closed half a sen lower to 35 sen at 5pm yesterday. It was reported on Saturday that four importers had been directed to recall eggs from Lay Hong’s Jeram 1 farm, whose production is chiefly supplied to Singapore, following the detection of the presence of SE that can cause foodborne illness if consumed raw or undercooked.An analyst said the farm’s shutdown is unlikely to have a major impact on Lay Hong’s business operations. “The group has multiple farms that, while closely located, operate independently of each other. Lay Hong has said that its other farms are not affected by the contamination and any disruption to its business should be minimal and temporary.” In a statement to Bursa Malaysia yesterday, Lay Hong said it was unable to quantify the amount of revenue lost until investigations are completed. In a statement on Sunday, Lay Hong executive director Datuk Yap Chor How said the company’ is offering full cooperation and compliance with the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) in Malaysia. He added that Lay Hong has formulated plans to strengthen farm control practices and monitoring following the detection of SE in its eggs at the group’s Jeram farm. “Our priority is the safety of our customers. We are currently working closely with the DVS to investigate and monitor the alleged farm related to export Salmonella detection.” Yap said the group has agreed with DVS to suspend its Jeram 1 farm in view of the ongoing investigation. He said Lay Hong has assured that no eggs will be sold from the Jeram 1 farm and that the group will only resume the supply of eggs once the investigation is completed. “All other farms in Jeram (Jeram 2 to 6) have been tested negative for Salmonella and these farms are divided into smaller satellite farms and separated from one another physically, despite being located in Jeram.” Yap said each of these satellite farms has its functioning feeding and grading equipment to mitigate cross-contamination between farms. “All of these mitigating factors have been in place for years to ensure our supply of eggs is not entirely disrupted if one of our farms is affected by contamination." This preparation has enabled us to continue to supply our eggs from other farms responsibly to our customers, ” he said. Yap said Lay Hong will strengthen the company’s farming process, adding that he is confident the group will overcome the situation with stronger controls and monitoring in the future.
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