August 27, 2010

Chicken Feed Blamed For Egg Recalls

A recall of more than a half billion contaminated eggs last week from two Iowa producers may have been caused by chicken feed tainted with salmonella bacteria, US regulators said on Thursday.

"We've received confirmation of salmonella-positive ... with the DNA fingerprint that matches the outbreak fingerprint for the feed samples that were provided to pullet at the Wright County egg farms at Hillandale Farms," said Sherri McGarri, foodborne outbreak specialist at the US Food and Drug Administration.

The feed mill that produced the contaminated chicken feed is linked to the Wright County Egg operation. The company recalled 380 million eggs last week. Hillandale Farms also received that feed, said McGarri.

Six hundred samples had been collected from 24 possible sources on the two farms. While the feed was the likely source of contamination, it may not be the only one and more samples are to be analyzed, she said.

The outbreak was linked to nearly 2,400 cases of salmonella-related illnesses around the country since the beginning of May. This has been the largest salmonella outbreak since 1970.

The recalls came just weeks after a new FDA ruling that required large-scale producers to practice better safety and to test in the poultry house for salmonella bacteria.


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