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Egg Salmonella Contamination Recall Raises Consumer Safety Concerns

The recall of at least 550 million eggs has shaken consumers’ trust of some food manufacturers, contributing to a growing concern regarding food quality due to poorly maintained facilities and other violations. The shell egg recall involving products from Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms out of Iowa was announced in August after the companies received data reflecting that almost 2,000 individuals had become ill from salmonella.

Business Week reports that two ex-employees at an Iowa egg farm stated that federal workers at the two facilities disregarded complaints regarding the shoddy surroundings at one of the locations. The two employees working at Wright County Egg stated that they complained about seeping manure and dead chickens to U.S. Department of Agriculture employees, but no action was taken to address the problem. However, a representative of the Agriculture Department stated that the USDA employee in charge of overseeing grading at the farm did not report employees presenting any concerns about the facility’s conditions.

Some of the major violations noted by U.S. health investigators include manure pits overflowing into hen houses, rodent easy entry into poultry houses, a significant amount of dead flies, standing water near manure piles, loose hens that tracked manure from the manure pit to the caged sections, and the failure to manage waste from animals. All of these issues contributed to creating a risk for salmonella contamination.

Salmonella poisoning caused by contaminated food products is a serious calamity that can be life-threatening to young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. In many instances, salmonella lasts four to seven days and causes fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

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