tagged w/ Salmonella
Judge bans deadbeat dad from having more kids-Students made to sign out toilet paper-20 amazing facts about the human body-Proposal seeks to ensure workforce privacy rights-Livestock falling ill in fracking regions, raising concerns about food-Homeland Security seeking 7,000 assault weapons for ‘personal defense’-There Ought To Be A Law: Salmonella in Raw Ground Beef Is LegalJudge bans deadbeat dad from having more kids-Students made to sign out toilet... more
drone attack kills 8 suspected militants in northwest Pakistan
Salmonella in dog food sickens 14 people in US
Arizona bans funding to Planned Parenthood in abortion fightdrone attack kills 8 suspected militants in northwest Pakistan Salmonella in dog food... more
Democracy NOW! DN! - In one of the largest meat recalls in U.S. history, this week the food giant Cargill ordered the recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey. The recall came after at least one person died from Salmonella, and another 76 people fell ill from turkey products traced to Cargill's processing plant in Springdale, Arkansas. According to the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Salmonella outbreak involves a strain of the bacteria known as Salmonella Heidelberg, which is resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics. Although the recall was announced this week, the outbreak began in March. More than 3,000 people die a year from food poisoning in the United States and millions more get sick. Food safety advocates say this latest outbreak shows how budget cuts have hampered the ability of federal and state health agencies to effectively protect public health. We speak with Patty Lovera, assistant director of the food safety group, Food & Water Watch. Published, with permission from democracynow.org. http://www.democracynow.org Provided to you under Democracy NOW! creative commons license. Copyright democracynow.org, an independent non-profit user funded news media, recognized and broadcast world wide.Democracy NOW! DN! - In one of the largest meat recalls in U.S. history, this week the... more
HELLO ! Why aren't WE hammering all of congress over the numerous poisoned and tainted food outbreaks and occurrences? It's been so widespread for so long, and primarily do to lack of regulation, lack of inspections, and lack of enforcement of existing regulations! But don't blame republicans, because poisoned food related deaths are acceptable losses and merely the cost of doing business. And don't hamper profits with safety regulations, there are too many people in America anyway. Along with war, it's a good form of population control.
http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/food-safety/175565-top-dem-uses-salmonella-outbreak-to-hammer-gop-over-food-safety-cutsHELLO ! Why aren't WE hammering all of congress over the numerous poisoned and... more
Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, which has been linked to a salmonella outbreak that has sickened 21 people in five states, recalled certain packages of its alfalfa sprouts and spicy sprouts on Friday because of the possibility the sprouts could be contaminated with salmonella.
In a recall announced Friday through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the company said that "while no samples of Evergreen sprouts have tested positive for Salmonella at this time, epidemiological evidence indicates that Evergreen Produce Alfalfa Sprouts and Spicy Sprouts are the common food eaten by the people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella enteritidis. Tests of Evergreen sprouts are still pending."
Earlier in the week, the Moyie Springs, Idaho, company declined to recall its products, saying there was not a link between the outbreak and the sprouts. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are continuing to investigate the outbreak.
Included in the recall are:
* Alfalfa Sprouts, Evergreen Produce, 4-ounce bag, UPC number 8 38796 00103 7
* Alfalfa Sprouts, Evergreen Produce, 16-ounce bag, UPC number 8 38796 00108 2
* Alfalfa Sprouts, Evergreen Produce, 5-pound bag, no UPC number
* Spicy Sprouts, Evergreen Produce, 4-ounce bag, UPC number 8 38796 00102 0
* Spicy Sprouts, Evergreen Produce, 16-ounce or 5-pound bag, no UPC number
The recalled sprouts have expiration dates between June 22, 2011, and July 14, 2011. The recalled alfalfa sprouts and spicy sprouts were distributed in Idaho and Washington by direct delivery to four distributors and three retail stores.
Salmonella can cause potentially life-threatening infections in very young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. Even normally healthy people can suffer from diarrhea, vomiting and fever after contracting a salmonella infection.
Consumers who purchased the recalled sprouts shouldn't eat them and should throw them away. Call Evergreen's Nadine Scharf at (208) 267-4258 between noon and 7:30 p.m. EST for more information.Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, which has been linked to a salmonella outbreak that has... more
In yet another recall linked to salmonella, Unilever United States, Inc., has called back Skippy peanut butter spreads.In yet another recall linked to salmonella, Unilever United States, Inc., has called... more
Taffy pet chews manufactured by Merrick Pet Care have been recalled due to possible Salmonella bacterial contamination.
Merrick Pet Care of Amarillo, Texas, issued the recall of Jr. Texas Taffy pet treats (UPC 02280827077, all lots up to and including No. 10364) because these pet treats may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.
The Jr. Texas Taffy pet chews were shipped to pet distributors and pet retailers from coast to coast across the country.
Pet owners who have purchased the tainted Jr. Texas Taffy pet treats can return the unused portions to the place of purchase for a full refund, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Pet owners with questions about the tainted pet treats may contact Merrick directly at 1-800-664-7387.
Salmonella bacteria are highly contagious and are transmissible to other pets and as well as people. Pet Diarrhea with or without blood and vomiting are the cardinal signs. The diarrhea can be quite severe, leading to dehydration which without treatment may be fatal.
Pets sickened and/or suspected of ingesting these treats should be taken to their veterinarian and people experiencing any symptoms should see their physician.
Salmonella Therapy involves medications to clear the diarrhea, fluid replacement to promote normal hydration and nursing care to restore normal health for pets and people. Hospitalization is required in many cases.
Salmonella pet infections in dogs and cats can cause signs which can include lethargy and diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets may only have a decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise apparently healthy pets can be asymptomatic carriers and spread Salmonella bacteria to other animals and people.
Pet owners are urged to contact their veterinarian if their dog and/or cat may have consumed or come into contact with the recalled pet chews.
Salmonella is considered to be a Zoonotic Disease which means it may be transmitted from pets to people. Pet owners who may have touched the tainted treats and/or contacted the any surfaces exposed to them are at risk of becoming infected with Salmonella bacteria.
Avoid possible Salmonella contamination by practicing proper hygiene. Washing your hands well and disinfecting pet bowls with bleach is helpful to minimize contamination and spread of this bacteria.
Careful disposal of the pet treats in a covered trash receptacle is also recommended to prevent potential spread of this zoonotic bacteria.
Pet owners and household members especially at risk include the elderly, immune compromised individuals and infants.
Signs of Salmonella infections in people may include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever.
Salmonella bacterial infections can also become more severe and result in arterial infections, heart infections referred to as endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and urinary tract symptoms. People exhibiting these signs after having contact with the recalled pet chews should contact their health care provider ASAP.
Pet owners who have purchased the Jr. Texas Taffy pet chews can return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers can contact Merrick Pet Care at 800-664-7387, Monday-Friday, 8-5 CST.
Bookmark www.carolonpets.com for the latest pet health news, information and anti-aging updates for your dogs and cats.
Holistic veterinarian and pet health researcher, Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM., is available for pet health questions and pet health consultations for dogs and/ or cats.
.Taffy pet chews manufactured by Merrick Pet Care have been recalled due to possible... more
Amid fears of salmonella contaminations, Sabor Farms, a Central California company, is voluntary recalling a batch of fresh cilantro sold in grocery stores in California and other states.Amid fears of salmonella contaminations, Sabor Farms, a Central California company, is... more
Humane Society: Undercover video shows alleged abuse at egg farm
From Eric Fiegel, CNN Senior Producer
November 17, 2010 7:48 p.m. EST
The Humane Society says its undercover video shows a dead bird as eggs roll by inches away on a conveyer belt.
* The Humane Society releases a video it says shows animal abuse at an egg farm
* The undercover video was shot at a Texas farm
* The company, Cal-Maine, says it has been a leader in animal welfare
* Cal-Maine is the largest egg producer in the United States
Washington (CNN) -- A group that protects the welfare of animals has released an undercover video it claims shows animal abuse at a Texas farm operated by the largest egg producer in the United States.
The Humane Society of the United States says one of its investigators worked at the Cal-Maine farm in Waelder, Texas, for almost a month this fall and documented multiple abuses and food-safety violations.
The video shows dead birds, birds stuck in their cages, overcrowding and what appears to be hens covered in feces. At one point the video shows a dead bird as eggs roll by just inches away on a conveyer belt.
The short, edited video was shown at a news conference on Wednesday by the Humane Society's president and CEO, Wayne Pacelle. "Our latest farm animal investigation documents inhumane treatment of laying hens and conditions that threaten food safety," Pacelle said from the group's headquarters in Washington.
Pacell told reporters that Cal-Maine, based in Jackson, Mississippi, was unaware of the investigation and that the video was being made public for the first time. Pacell said he didn't know if the giant egg company had seen the video.
'Farm had eggs on top of corpses'
Cal-Maine responded to the allegations with a statement on its website.
"Cal-Maine Foods has been a leader in accepting and implementing animal welfare measures. All of the Company's facilities are operated in full compliance with existing environmental, health and safety laws and regulations and permits. Each employee involved in the care and handling of our hens is required to review, sign and comply with our Company code of conduct regarding the ethical treatment of hens which requires employees to report any possible violations," the statement said.
The egg industry has taken a beating of late. Just this summer over half a billion eggs were recalled after a salmonella outbreak was traced to an Iowa farm.
Cal-Maine is no stranger to recalls. It recalled 288,000 eggs earlier this month when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration informed the company that eggs from one of its Ohio plants tested positive for Salmonella enteritidis. Salmonella, which is generally contracted from contaminated poultry, meat, eggs, or water, affects the intestinal tract.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service, chickens can pass the bacteria to eggs because the eggs leave hens through the same passageway as feces. Alternatively, bacteria in the hen's ovary or oviduct can get to the egg before the shell forms around it, FSIS said.
Cal-Maine says it sold over 778 million eggs in 2009, which represents 18 percent of the United States market. According to the companies website, "Cal-Maine has an industry-leading record in food safety with all of its 35 processing plants independently verified as reaching the highest level of safety by the Safe Quality Food Institute."
Over 70 billion eggs are produced a year in the United States, and the Humane Society would like to see the large egg farms change their ways
"Time and again, we've found that these massive facilities caging hundreds of thousands of animals do not properly care for the birds ... It's time for the egg industry to embrace cage-free housing systems and move away from battery cage confinement methods," Pacelle said. Battery cage systems allow many birds to be housed in one facility but critics claim it's dangerous and cruel to the animals.
The Humane Society would like to see cage-free housing but so far only 5 percent of eggs produced in the U.S. use this method, according to Pacelle.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration implemented new rules in July for large egg producers. These mandates include cleaning poultry houses that test positive for salmonella, rodent control, refrigeration of eggs during storage and transportation and buying chicks and young hens only from suppliers who monitor for Salmonella bacteria.
The USDA says that as many as 79,000 illnesses and 30 deaths due to consumption of eggs contaminated with the bacterium Salmonella enteritidis may be avoided each year with these new measures in place.Humane Society: Undercover video shows alleged abuse at egg farm From Eric Fiegel,... more
Trader Joe's recalls products with cilantro
By the CNN Wire Staff
November 6, 2010 11:52 p.m. EDT
* Product sold in California stores may be contaminated with salmonella
* Other products sold nationally or in specific states
(CNN) -- Trader Joe's has alerted its customers about the recall of products with a cilantro ingredient that may cause a serious foodborne illness.
In some cases, the affected items are specific to certain states. For example, the 12-ounce, Spicy Thai Style Pasta Salad (sku 74441), was recalled by APPA Fine Foods, which supplied the product to California Trader Joe's, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department.
The pasta salad, which has sell-by dates of October 31 through November 6, contains cilantro that may be contaminated with salmonella, the government said.
The packages bear the establishment number "P-21030" within the USDA mark of inspection.
There have been no reports of any illnesses so far, CNN affiliate KTLA reported.
Symptoms of salmonella poisoning can include fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramping. Those with weak immune systems, like infants and the elderly, are the most susceptible.
Trader Joe's also voluntarily recalled the following products it says should not be consumed due to the potential for "serious foodborne illness." The company did not describe the illness:
All stores: Cilantro Dressing (sku 36420) with a sell-by date of February 9, 2011; Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette (sku 80947) with a sell-by date of January 9, 2001.
California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon and Washington only: Cilantro Pecan Dip (sku 76986) with sell-by dates of November 20 and November 24.
As a precaution, all codes of the products have been removed from sale and destroyed, Trader Joe's said. The chain advises customers to dispose of the affected products or return them to any store location for a full refund.Trader Joe's recalls products with cilantro By the CNN Wire Staff November 6,... more
The owner of one of two Iowa egg farms linked to as many as 1,600 salmonella illnesses declined to testify at a congressional hearing Wednesday, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jj32VSVtpIThe owner of one of two Iowa egg farms linked to as many as 1,600 salmonella illnesses... more
Consumers have been warned about the risks of eating and cooking with duck eggs, after an outbreak of salmonella has caused the death of one person.
link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8009927/Foodies-warned-over-duck-eggs-after-salmonella-outbreak.htmlConsumers have been warned about the risks of eating and cooking with duck eggs, after... more
by Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger
Tainted egg shell game
The Iowa chapter of the Sierra Club is pushing state regulators to investigate two factory farms and a feed mill linked to this summer’s massive recall of salmonella-tainted eggs, Lynda Waddington reports in the Iowa Independent. The Sierra Club sent a strongly-worded letter to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller urging him to investigate Wright County Egg, Hillandale Farms and the Quality Egg LLC feed mill. All three firms were linked to the salmonella outbreak that sickened an estimated 1200 people; and all three firms are linked to agro-baron Austin “Jack” DeCoster.
Tom Philpott of Grist calls DeCoster a “habitual” environmental offender and “one of the most reviled names in industrial agriculture.” In 1996, the Department of Labor fined DeCoster Eggs $3.6 million for what the then-Secretary of Labor described as “running an agricultural sweatshop” and “treating its employees like animals.” Over the years, DeCoster enterprises racked up additional fines in other states. A previous Attorney General of Iowa dubbed DeCoster a habitual offender for water pollution. In 2002, five female employees at the DeCoster’s Wright County egg operation alleged that their supervisors had raped them and threatened to kill them if they reported the crime. The company paid $1.5 million to settle the lawsuit.
A coalition of public health activists is pushing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to regulate the work hours of doctors in training. New proposed guidelines would limit the shifts of first-year residents to 16 hours, but more senior trainees could be forced to work shifts up to 28 hours. The group, which includes the Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU Healthcare, the American Medical Student Association, and Public Citizen, says that’s not good enough to protect doctors or the public. As I explain in Working In These Times, research shows that sleep deprivation is a major preventable cause of medical errors, which is why the coalition wants to see shifts for all residents capped at 16 hours.
Insurance premiums soar
A new report from the Kaiser Foundation Family shows that health insurance premiums continued to climb with employers shifting an ever-greater share of the burden onto employees. A family health insurance policy costs about $14,000 a year, with employees shouldering 30% of that cost. Michelle Chen reports in ColorLines that families that manage to hang onto their health insurance can’t expect relief through health care reform any time soon. The major reforms don’t go into effect until 2014 and the biggest early beneficiaries will be those who are currently uninsured rather than those who are already paying through the nose for lousy coverage. The ultimate goal of comprehensive health care reform is to reshape the health care and health insurance systems to bring costs down across the board, but that’s small consolation to workers who are struggling to stay on top of their premiums right now.by Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger Tainted egg shell game The Iowa... more
by Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger
Women on along U.S.-Mexico border are buying black market misoprostol to induce abortions, according to a new report by Laura Tillman in the Nation. The drug is easily available over the counter in Mexico.
DIY abortion is cheaper—a bottle of misoprostol costs can cost as little as $70, a fraction of the price of a medical abortion. The DIY approach can also be more convenient and private. One abortion provider told Tillman that about 20% of his patients tried misoprostol before coming to see him.
He estimates that many others took the drug successfully. Misoprostol is about 80%-85% effective when used as directed, but if it doesn’t work the woman needs immediate medical help. Potential complications include severe bleeding and uterine rupture. For more information on misoprostol abortions, see last week’s edition of the Weekly Pulse.
As the bumper sticker slogan goes: If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota bought some very expensive ignorance this week by turning down $850,000 in federal funding for comprehensive sex education through the federal Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP).
According to Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent, Pawlenty opted to apply for the Title V State Abstinence Education Grant Program instead of the PREP, a comprehensive sex ed program. Comprehensive sex ed teaches kids how to say no to sex and how to reduce their risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections if they do become sexually active. Now, cash-strapped Minnesota will have to come up with $379,307 in state funds in order to get $505,743 in federal funding for abstinence-only-until-hetero-marriage education.
Robin Marty of RH Reality Check observes that Pawlenty is trying to burnish his conservative credentials in advance of a possible presidential run in 2012. It’s part of a national race to the bottom where conservative presidential hopefuls compete to see who can take away more rights from women.
E. coli comes home to roost
The agribusiness giant Cargill Meat Solutions recalled 8,500 pounds of ground beef after 3 people contracted salmonella, Mac McDaniel reports for Care2. The Cargill recall comes on the heels of the largest egg recall in U.S. history. So far, 550 million potentially salmonella-tainted eggs from to factory farms in Iowa have been recalled. McDaniel argues that these food recalls should prompt a larger discussion about the state of our food safety net and the wisdom of factory farming.
At AlterNet, food scientist and activist Dr. Marion Nestle writes that “Industrial egg operations have gotten out of hand in size, waste, and lack of safety.” So far, at least 1500 people caught salmonella from tainted Iowa eggs. Nestle urges the Senate to pass the long-awaited food safety bill, S. 510, which the upper chamber has been sitting on for over a year. It’s about time. Powerful agribusiness interests have hijacked the regulatory process for too long. The chickens are coming home to roost.
This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about health care by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Pulse for a complete list of articles on health care reform, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, health care and immigration issues, check out The Audit, The Mulch, and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.by Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger Women on along U.S.-Mexico border... more
FDA Reports Numerous Violations at Egg Farms | Food Safety Advocacy Group Calls Findings "Stomach Churning"FDA reports numerous violations at egg farms
By the CNN Wire Staff
August 30, 2010 7:08 p.m. EDT
Inspection reports released by the FDA noted numerous violations at nine egg-producing Iowa farms.
* Food safety advocacy group calls findings "stomach churning"
* Hillandale, Wright County Egg say some of the problems have been fixed
* Inspections find numerous violations at Iowa egg farms, FDA says
* Inspection reports do not outline compliance or enforcement actions
(CNN) -- Rodents, piles of manure, uncaged birds and flies too numerous to count were found by investigators at Iowa farms at the heart of the recall of more than half a billion eggs, the Food and Drug Administration reported Monday.
Inspection reports released by the FDA noted numerous violations at six farms operated by Wright County Egg and Quality Egg, which are owned by the same family, and three Hillandale Farms locations.
The inspections -- conducted in August, after new egg safety rules went into effect -- were launched in response to the nationwide outbreaks of salmonella that have sickened an estimated 1,470 people, according to the FDA.
Neither company fully adhered to their Salmonella enteritidis prevention plans, the inspectors said.
Federal investigators found salmonella bacteria in chicken feed and in barn and walkway areas at some of the farms, officials said last week.
Monday, health officials detailed plans to launch an inspection program of these and other facilities in the coming weeks.
On a conference call Monday, FDA officials said they had also found salmonella in water used to wash eggs at a Hillandale facility. They said it is not clear whether the eggs were washed in contaminated water or if the water was sullied by the eggs.
"Regarding the positive finding in the egg wash water, it is important to note that after washing, all the eggs are rinsed with water containing chlorine as an additional sanitation step," said Hillandale spokeswoman Julie DeYoung.
At some Wright County Egg facilities, federal inspectors found chicken manure in piles up to eight feet high. In other spots, mounds of manure prevented doors from closing, allowing rodents and other animals to possibly come inside, FDA inspectors said. "The uncaged birds were using the manure [pile] ... to access the egg-laying area."
The report said Quality Egg and Wright County Egg workers did not always wear protective clothing, that birds were in storage and milling facilities, and feed bins had rusted holes and gaps. Inspectors also found maggots, and in some areas, "live and dead flies were too numerous to count."
Inspections at three Hillandale farms found -- among other things -- rodents and rodent holes, liquid manure leaking into a chicken house and uncaged chickens tracking manure from a manure pit into a caged henhouse, the inspectors said.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a food safety advocacy group, called the FDA findings "stomach churning."
FDA officials have said new egg safety rules, which took effect in mid-July after the outbreak began, will greatly reduce the possibility of a similar salmonella outbreak.
But the center said the companies didn't properly respond to the rules.
"Both companies involved had been on notice that they needed to meet requirements of the new egg-safety rule for over a year. Instead of finding companies that were ready to meet those requirements, FDA's inspections document companies with long-standing violations and apparently little intention to comply," the center said in a statement. "The decrepit conditions in these henhouses reflect the fact that companies know that FDA inspections are so rare -- even following the adoption of a new safety regulation -- that there is no urgency to fix their buildings and their operations to assure compliance with FDA statutes and regulations."
In a statement, Hillandale said it is committed to addressing all issues raised by the FDA in order to be in "full compliance as soon as possible," so that it can again ship shell eggs.
"We are in the process of responding to the FDA's written report to provide further explanation and clarification of what was observed. Several of the issues had been identified by the facilities prior to FDA's inspection and were already in the process of being addressed during the inspection period. Additionally, some of the issues were immediately corrected as soon as they were identified."
Wright County Egg said "the vast majority" of the concerns identified in the FDA report already have been addressed or are being addressed.
"We anticipate the expeditious completion of nearly all remaining items by mid-September," the company said in a statement.
"To demonstrate our continued commitment to running our farms in the most responsible manner and to ensuring the safety of the eggs we produce, our team has worked around the clock to address concerns that were raised verbally during FDA's inspection, with many of those being fixed as soon as they were identified. ...
"Members of our farm's management team actively participated alongside FDA officials during daily site inspections, and we have carefully documented details of those inspections."
An FDA spokeswoman on Monday said the inspection reports are "merely inspectional observations and [do] not outline any compliance or enforcement actions."
She said there would also be inspections at other companies to enforce the regulations.
"While we cannot disclose a list of inspection targets, ... some factors that we will take into consideration in compiling such a list include the size of the farm, the amount of eggs produced, history of violations and connection to previous outbreaks," said Siobhan DeLancey.
Federal officials pledged Monday to inspect all 600 facilities covered under the new egg rule within the next 15 months.
Hillandale's DeYoung said the company would not respond to specifics in the report. "We have put specific action plans in place to address each issue raised and are implementing those action plans," she said.
DeYoung also said she does not believe Hillandale is being singled out by federal inspectors.
CNN's Caleb Hellerman and Phil Gast contributed to this reportFDA reports numerous violations at egg farms By the CNN Wire Staff August 30, 2010... more
Food and Drug Administration investigators have found rodents, seeping manure and even maggots at the Iowa egg farms believed to be responsible for as many as 1,500 cases of salmonella poisoning.
FDA officials released their initial observations of the investigations at Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms on Monday. The two farms recalled more than half a billion eggs after salmonella illnesses were linked to their products earlier this month.
The reports released by the FDA show many different possible sources of contamination at both farms, including rodent, bug and wild bird infestation, uncontained manure, holes in walls and other problems that could have caused the outbreak. Several positive samples of salmonella have been found at both farms.
The agency released the initial observations as their investigations concluded Monday. Officials said they still cannot speculate on the cause of the outbreak but said the farms not only violated their own standards but also new egg rules put in place this summer.
Among the observations of the investigators:
• Live rodents and mice at both farms;
• Structural damage and holes in many locations at both farms, allowing wildlife access;
• Escaped chickens tracking manure through the houses;
• Employees not changing clothing properly when moving from one location to another and not sanitizing equipment properly;
• "Live flies too numerous to count" on egg belts, in the feed, on the eggs themselves at Wright County Egg;
• Dead and live maggots "too numerous to count" on the manure pit floor in one location at Wright County Egg;
• Manure piled four to eight feet high in five locations at Wright County Egg, leaning against and pushing open doors that allowed wildlife to enter the laying houses;
• Nonchicken feathers in a laying house and wild birds flying in and out of two facilities at Wright County Egg;
• Manure seeping through the foundation to the outside of laying houses in 13 locations at Wright County Egg;
• Rusted holes in feed bins and birds flying over the feed bins at Wright County Egg;
Animal feces and access to wildlife are normally the main concern of investigators looking for causes of an outbreak, as illnesses such as salmonella originate from feces. Michael Taylor, the FDA's deputy commissioner for foods, said in a briefing for reporters Monday that the agency cannot say how these conditions compare to other egg farms around the country but he believes they are "significant deviations from what is expected."
The agency has not traditionally inspected egg farms until there has been a problem. But the FDA will now inspect all of the nation's largest farms by the end of next year, the Obama administration announced last week.Food and Drug Administration investigators have found rodents, seeping manure and even... more
Since news first broke about the massive egg recall, eggs seem to be all folks are talking about. The big questions are: how did this salmonella contamination happen, and what can we do about it?
http://eatdrinkbetter.com/2010/08/26/thoughts-on-the-egg-recall/Since news first broke about the massive egg recall, eggs seem to be all folks are... more
Michigan, 17 other states affected by salmonella-related egg recall
By the CNN Wire Staff
August 25, 2010 3:19 a.m. EDT
(CNN) -- Eighteen states are now affected by a national egg recall after Michigan joined the ranks, and the issue will likely be addressed Wednesday by the director of the CDC.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture said Tuesday that eggs associated with the recall have been distributed in the state.
Meanwhile, Thomas R. Frieden, the director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is slated to address the Atlanta Press Club on Wednesday and is likely to address the issue.
As the federal government investigates the egg recall and the related salmonella outbreak that it says has sickened about 1,300 Americans, the regulatory process is coming under scrutiny from the agencies responsible and people affected by the food safety crisis.
Video: Bad eggs just the beginning?
Video: How free range eggs are produced
* Food Safety
* Thomas Frieden
Bill Marler, who represents 35 families whose members contracted salmonella, said on Tuesday that "one of the things about civil litigation and what I do is we fill in where the government has failed. And even [Food and Drug Administration] Commissioner [Margaret] Hamburg yesterday certainly admitted that the FDA and USDA didn't have the resources to do the kind of inspection on this plant. And many times we have to come in, sometimes lawyers, sometimes the media, to shine the light on the problems and to try to get it corrected."
Speaking on a conference call with reporters Monday afternoon, Hamburg said federal regulations that took effect in July could have prevented the recall.
The new regulations went into effect July 9, requiring egg producers with more than 3,000 hens to take measures designed to prevent the spread of salmonella. The current outbreak began in May and was traced to two Iowa farms, according to the FDA.
One of them, Wright County Egg, has recalled 380 million eggs; the other, Hillandale Farms, recalled 170 million eggs.
"We believe that had these rules been in place at an earlier time, it would have very likely enabled us to identify the problems on this farm before this kind of outbreak occurred," Hamburg said.
While FDA inspectors typically didn't inspect farms until after an outbreak of illness, Jeff Farrar, the associate commissioner for food safety at the Food and Drug Administration, said under the new rule, "We will be beginning routine inspections of egg farms throughout the United States."
Food safety regulators don't expect any more recalls after last week's withdrawal of about 550 million eggs from the U.S. market, but inspections are still going on.
Farrar would not release details of the inspections, which also involve a third operation that supplied the two egg producers, but the results could be released later this week, he said.
John Boyd Jr., the founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association, said the action is too little, too late.
"The bottom line here is there should have been more inspections before the outbreak. I know Congress is looking at a bill passing...legislation to bring more enforcement," said Boyd, who said he's been a poultry farmer for 14 years.
Supporters of a long-stalled bill to bolster the safety of the nation's food supply are hoping the egg-linked salmonella outbreak will give them momentum to pass their bill in the Senate as early as next month.
The bipartisan bill would give new powers and resources to the FDA to crack down on risky food suppliers in the United States and abroad. For instance, in the current situation, the FDA could quickly order direct recalls of suspected eggs instead of relying on voluntary recalls by the manufacturers.
The bill aims to increase the number of inspections at U.S. and foreign facilities and improve the FDA's surveillance of food-borne illnesses. It would boost the agency's ability to track suspected foods and remove them from stores more quickly.
In addition to allowing the FDA to recall tainted foods, the bill grants the agency the ability to shut down a plant if there is "reasonable probability that food from the facility will cause serious adverse health consequences or death," according to a Senate summary of the bill.
The measure is likely to gain broad support from Democrats and Republicans. A bipartisan group of senators reached an agreement on a final compromise earlier this month, several Senate aides from both sides of the aisle said Monday.
Democratic leaders are trying to schedule a vote in the next several weeks, sometime before the mid-term elections, Democratic aides said.
If the Senate passes the bill, it will have to be melded with the somewhat different House bill.
While the recall involves hundreds of millions of eggs, they represent less than 1 percent of the 80 billion eggs produced in the United States each year, said Krista Eberle, director of the food safety program at the Egg Safety Center, a trade association entity.
CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett contributed to this reportMichigan, 17 other states affected by salmonella-related egg recall By the CNN Wire... more