Salmonella Eggs May be Tied to Tainted Feed

Not surprisingly, <"">Salmonella bacteria was found in chicken feed and in a few areas at the Wright County Egg Company, wrote CNN. Federal investigators found Salmonella in barn and walkway locations and believe feed or feed ingredients might have become tainted after heat treatment, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said.

Sherri McGarry of the FDA said Salmonella was found in the farm’s food mill and in manure, adding that samples are still being drawn at Hillandale Farms, said CNN. ”Feed were the sources [of the salmonella], but perhaps not the only sources,” McGarry said, quoted CNN. Officials said birds, rodents, or people’s shoes or boots could have tainted feed, noted CNN. Wright County Egg said the FDA also tested meat and bone meal, used as a feed ingredient and supplied by Central Bi-Products.

The feed was produced at a Wright County Egg mill and fed to pullet chickens at Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms, the two farms at the center of the massive outbreak that involved a recall of over a half-billion eggs and which are owned by the DeCoster family, said CNN. Austin “Jack” DeCoster has been cited and paid hefty fines for a range of violations that include animal cruelty, ongoing environmental problems, federal immigration charges, and mistreating employees, said the Des Moines Register.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2,403 cases of Salmonella enteriditis were reported in the US from May 1 through August 25. Because 933 would normally be reported during this time, it’s believed the huge spike of 1,470 cases is likely linked to tainted eggs, said CDC spokeswoman, reported CNN. Officials speaking in a conference call said this outbreak is the largest of Salmonella enteriditis since tracking for such outbreaks was initiated in the mid-1970s, said CNN.

More people are expect to report being sickened as it could take weeks for Salmonella poisoning to become apparent, said Dr. Christopher R. Braden, CDC’s acting director of the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, wrote CNN. Representative Bart Stupak (Democrat-Michigan) said a House subcommittee is conducting hearings September 14 into the nation’s food supply safety, added CNN.

Wright County Egg, recalled 380 million eggs, with 60-egg cases sold under the Cardenas Market brand in California and Nevada. Those eggs are labeled with plant number 1026 and date codes 136 to 228. The plant number begins with the letter P, explained CNN. Trafficanda Egg Ranch also just released a statement it was conducting a voluntary recall of Wright County-supplied shell eggs distributed to grocery stores and food-service companies in California in 12-egg cartons and 20- and 60-egg over-wrapped packages with date codes 136 to 229 and plant numbers 1026, 1413, 1720, 1942 and 1946, said CNN. The Egg Safety Center said the sub-recalls were already included in the Wright County Egg recall, said CNN.

We just wrote that state and federal health agencies knew Wright County Egg was the likely source of the outbreak a couple of weeks before the public was advised, according to USA Today, citing health officials it interviewed. We also wrote that the recall could have been largely prevented with low-cost vaccinations, citing the Associated Press (AP). Although the vaccination has been available in the US since 1992, it is not mandated. The Wall Street Journal wrote that the New York Times reported that the FDA considered a mandate to vaccinate hens against Salmonella under its emerging egg safety rules, but rejected the program.

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