FDA Warns One Salmonella Egg Farm, Permits Another to Resume ShipmentsOct 19, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP
The two Iowa egg producers linked to multistate outbreak of Salmonella have heard from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The agency has issued a warning letter to Wright County Egg, but has given Hillandale Farms permission to begin shipping eggs again.
As we’ve reported previously, Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms have recalled more than half a billion eggs due to the nationwide outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis. So far, the CDC has received 1,608 reports of illnesses that may be linked to the recalled eggs.
Since the recall, Wright County Egg and Hillandale have been sending eggs to facilities where eggs were pasteurized to eliminate the threat of salmonella. These eggs were then used in products like cake mixes.
The FDA warning letter issued to Quality Egg LLC, parent company of Wright County Egg, identifies serious deviations from the agency’s regulation on the safety of shell eggs with respect to bio-security, rodent control and other measures. The letter also finds that the eggs at Quality Egg LLC are adulterated because they have been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions. The FDA warning letter, dated October 15, was based on an inspection of Quality Egg facilities that occurred between August 12 through 30, 2010.
The letter directs Quality Egg owner Austin “Jack” DeCoster to take “prompt and aggressive actions” to correct the problems cited in the letter. The letter states: “Failure to take prompt corrective action may result in regulatory action being initiated by the Food and Drug Administration without further notice. These actions include, but are not limited to, seizure and/or injunction.”
Hillandale Farms, on the other hand, has received authorization to begin shipping eggs to the table market from three of its egg-producing houses. The three houses have been extensively tested and found to have no evidence of Salmonella contamination. Hillandale Farms has also committed to an enhanced surveillance program for Salmonella, the FDA said.
Four other houses overseen by Hillandale are undergoing further testing before consideration for shipping.
Hillandale Farms has notified the FDA that it intended to begin shipping from the three houses as of yesterday.