Egg company can resume shipping, FDA says

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Wright county egg Chicken

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized one of the firms behind the August egg recall to resume shipping its eggs, but it has warned the other to refrain from shipping due to unsanitary conditions.

The FDA sent a letter to Hillandale Farms on Friday, in which it said that the firm had taken corrective actions and that it could resume shipping from three of its egg-producing henhouses. The agency said the three houses had been extensively tested and no evidence of salmonella had been found. Four other henhouses are still being tested, the FDA said, but it authorized shipping of eggs from the three cleared houses from Monday, October 18.

Meanwhile, the agency sent a warning letter to Wright County Egg saying that it could be shut down if it fails to take corrective action. The firm is still not shipping eggs from its Iowa facility. A copy of the warning letter is available online here​.

The two companies were behind a recall of more than half a billion eggs in August. About 380m eggs were recalled by Wright County Egg, after the operation was linked to a nationwide outbreak of salmonella enteriditis. The recall expanded to Hillandale Farms – another Iowa facility – a week later, which pulled a further 170m eggs from the market. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1,470 reported illnesses were likely to have been associated with the outbreak.

The inspections of Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms were the first to be conducted under the FDA’s new egg rule, which came into force in July.

The rule requires egg producers to refrigerate eggs during storage and transportation; implement pest control measures; buy chicks and young hens from suppliers that monitor for salmonella; test hens and eggs for the bacteria; and clean and disinfect poultry houses that have tested positive.

However, the rule will not affect producers with fewer than 3,000 hens, or those that submit their eggs for further processing, such as pasteurization.

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