NY Lawmakers Seek Salmonella Vaccine

Britain enjoys the safest egg supply in Europe, which many believe has to do with its vaccination program that fights against the dangerous and, many times, deadly, Salmonella pathogen. Now, says the Associated Press, two New York legislators are looking to mandate farmers in the state to vaccinate their chickens against the pathogen that was at the heart of the recent and massive <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/wright_county_egg_salmonella_outbreak">egg recall and Salmonella outbreak.

This weekend, Senator Daniel Squadron and Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh announced their proposal in front of a Manhattan food store, wrote the AP. The two said that the vaccinations, which cost about one cent for every one-dozen eggs, could just about eradicate the over 100,000 cases of Salmonella reported across the US annually, assuming every state enacted such mandates, said the AP. The legislation is scheduled for introduction this week.

Meanwhile, we just wrote that a large mound of manure and rodent, fly, maggot, and wild bird infestations, among other disgusting findings, were revealed at one of the two egg producers blamed on the outbreak and recall. The findings were a result of a US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) inspection at Wright County Egg (Quality Egg) in Iowa.

At the other egg producer, Hillandale Farms, FDA inspectors found unsealed rodent holes and live rodents entering facilities, standing water, and liquid manure leaking into a section of the floor.

Now, many wonder if the massive recall involving over a-half billion eggs and a couple of thousand illnesses could have been largely prevented with low-cost vaccinations, said the AP recently. Although not mandated in the US, the vaccination has been available in the US since 1992.

A 2009 survey conducted by the European food safety agency revealed that about one percent of British flocks were infected with Salmonella versus 60-to-70 percent of other European flocks, said Amanda Cryer, a spokeswoman for the British Egg Information Service, the AP recently reported. The Salmonella vaccination works to prevent chickens from becoming sick with Salmonella and passing the bacteria to their eggs.

In Britain, the vaccination program is needed for producers to obtain an industry seal of approval, wrote the Wall Street Journal earlier this month. In the US, about half of the producers vaccinate their hens, said the Journal, which noted that the New York Times wrote that officials at the FDA considered a mandate to vaccinate hens against the pathogen under its emerging egg safety rules. The FDA rejected the vaccination program.

Salmonella bacteria can either contaminate the outside of the shell from fecal matter or infect the inside of the egg if the chicken has Salmonella poisoning, said the Des Moines Register, which also wrote that, based on the magnitude of the recall, egg prices are expected to increase, with the wholesale price of a dozen eggs up about 40 percent since news of the outbreak made headlines.

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