Wright County Egg, Iowa, the company associated with the multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) in the US earlier this year has been given FDA approval to begin shipping shell eggs directly to the consumer market from two hen houses on one of its six farms.
“During the outbreak, I said that FDA would not agree to the sale of eggs to consumers from Wright County Egg until we had confidence that they could be shipped and consumed safely,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, “After four months of intensive work by the company and oversight, testing, and inspections by FDA, I am satisfied that time has come.”
FDA’s decision is based on the agency’s verification that the company has taken the necessary corrective measures in these two houses to address all four pathways of contamination that may have contributed to the outbreak.
The laying hens present in these houses at the time of the outbreak have been removed and the houses cleaned, sanitised and tested to ensure that they are no longer contaminated with SE. A biosecurity plan has been developed and implemented to minimise the risk of contamination from other houses or other farms.
Pullets previously in the houses were replaced with SE negative pullets that have been vaccinated for SE.
The company has implemented controls to prevent recurrence of the problems that led to the outbreak. FDA has confirmed the corrective measures and implementation of the company’s preventive controls at these two houses through on-site inspections conducted in October and November 2010. Eggs from these two houses and the house environments tested negative twice by FDA for SE and tested negative once by Wright County Egg. The firm will continue to test these houses monthly for the presence of SE.