CSPI Says FDA Findings at Egg Farm are "Stomach Churning"
Statement of CSPI Food Safety Director Caroline Smith DeWaal
August 30, 2010
While it is really helpful that FDA is disclosing the results of their recent inspections of two facilities linked to a major illness outbreak from contaminated eggs, FDA's findings are truly stomach churning. FDA found rodents and wild birds in the facilities, and five of the Wright County Egg facilities had giant manure piles inside their buildings. These violations are reminiscent of similar findings in another major outbreak linked to peanut butter.
Equally troubling is that the inspections occurred the month following the date that the new egg-safety regulation went into effect. Both companies involved had been on notice that they needed to meet requirements of the new egg-safety rule for over a year. Instead of finding companies that were ready to meet those requirements, FDA's inspections document companies with long-standing violations and apparently little intention to comply. The decrepit conditions in these hen houses reflect the fact that companies know that FDA inspections are so rare—even following the adoption of a new safety regulation—that there is no urgency to fix their buildings and their operations to assure compliance with FDA statutes and regulations.