Wright County Egg to ship eggs to consumers again

by Staff
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WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has given Wright County Egg L.L.C., the company responsible for Salmonella-tainted eggs that led to a recall in August, permission to begin shipments again.

“During the outbreak, I said that F.D.A. would not agree to the sale of eggs to consumers from Wright County Egg until we had confidence that they could be shipped and consumed safely,” said Margaret A. Hamburg, F.D.A. commissioner. “After four months of intensive work by the company and oversight, testing and inspections by F.D.A., I am satisfied that time has come.”

Specifically, the F.D.A. has said the Galt, Iowa-based company may ship eggs from two hen houses on one of its six farms.

The company has cleaned contaminated egg-laying environments, replaced chickens, dealt with its extensive rodent problems and replaced contaminated feed with healthy feed.

“These extensive corrective actions address the significant contamination problems and support the resumption of distribution of eggs to the table market from these two hen houses,” said Don Kraemer, deputy director of the F.D.A.’s Center for Food Safety and Nutrition.

The company also has put measures into place to prevent recurrence. Since October there have been 13 investigators and more than 900 man hours involved in working to get the company up to standards. The company is working to get the remaining houses suitable to begin shipments.

On Aug. 13, Wright County Egg initiated a recall of shell eggs due to Salmonella enteritidis contamination. A few days later the company expanded the recall to include approximately 228 million eggs. A second recall was initiated by Hillandale Farms of Iowa, North Hampton due to Salmonella enteritidis.

Since May 2010 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, had identified a nationwide, four-fold increase in the number of Salmonella enteritidis isolates through PulseNet, the national subtyping network made up of state and local public health laboratories and federal food regulatory laboratories. The contaminated products were later identified and traced back to Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms.
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