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News is trickling out today regarding some of the conditions being blamed for the contamination that caused the recall of more than half a billion eggs in August. Government inspectors have found conditions on two Iowa farms that include rodents and manure tracked in by uncaged hens. According to the FDA, maggots were also found at one of the farms, Wright County Egg. The Wright farm, based in Galt, Iowa, has recalled 380 million eggs since Aug. 13. Another 170 million eggs were recalled on Aug. 19 by Hillandale Farms, based in New Hampton, Iowa. The total of eggs recalled comes to 550 million.
A report by Bloomberg details the "excessive" amounts of manure, and an amount of maggots, "too numerous to count" found by FDA inspectors at the Wright farm. Specific issues at the Hillandale farm included “unsealed rodent holes” and “uncaged hens tracking manure.” Wright and Hillandale are not affiliated, but according to an email from a spokeswoman for Wright, its parent company, Quality Egg LLC, supplies birds and feed to both Wright and Hillandale farms.
Two of four samples from the Wright farm were taken from chicken feed and tested positive for bacteria that is identical to the outbreak strain, according to Sherri McGarry, an emergency coordinator at the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, who held a conference call regarding the outbreak last week. In addition, water that was used to rinse eggs on their way to the packing facility at Hillandale Farms was found to contain the same strain of salmonella.
Both companies say they are cooperating with the Food and Drug Administration.
The salmonella outbreak is the largest since the CDC began tracking the illness in the late 1970s, according to comments made last week by Christopher Braden, acting director of the CDC’s division of foodborne, waterborne and environmental diseases, reports Bloomberg.
According to the FDA website, the recalled eggs can be found under more than 30 brand names including Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps.
To see the updated FDA recall as of Aug. 20, click here.