Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Dirty Truth About the Egg Recall

The nation-wide egg recall due to salmonella has caused quite a stir, but even more disturbing are the incredibly filthy conditions of the Iowa farms where the eggs were packaged.On Monday, a team of U.S. health investigators discovered swarms of dead flies, rodents in the barns and manure piled so high that it forced doors open at the two farms implicated in the egg recall. Of course, we are left to wonder why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration not press for further punishment, not just fines and sanctions. Why not force the two farms to shut down before so many Americans caught salmonella from their morning breakfast?

And how does salmonella even get there? Mice, it turns out, are one of the main sources of salmonella bacteria on egg farms. Lack of rodent control is a violation of federal regulations. Mice get into hen feed and leave infected feces that the birds then eat. The hens pass the bacteria to each other through their manure and into their eggs, experts say.

The FDA won’t know for sure how widespread the problems are until it begins inspecting other farms next month under the safety regulations that took effect in July. Iowa is the #1 producer of eggs in the USA, but until now, the FDA has not inspected farms except in the cases of outbreaks...

It's scary to think that such conditions could go unchecked for so long. As one spokeswoman exclaimed, "It's truly stomach-churning!" I can't speak for everyone, but I'll stick to oatmeal and almond milk for my breakfast, thank you!



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