A US egg producer linked to last months outbreak of salmonella conducted tests as far back as 2008 that indicated the possible presence of the bacteria in its henhouses, according to records released by Congressional investigators.
The records show that there were 73 instances over about two years where tests from Wright County Egg’s barns showed the presence of salmonella bacteria, including the strain that infects eggs and causes human illness. In at least one case, further tests showed that the toxic form, Salmonella enteritidis, was present.
Company records failed to show whether Wright County Egg took appropriate steps to protect the public after receiving the positive test results.
Wright County Egg and another company, Hillandale Farms, recalled more than 500 million eggs last month after health officials traced salmonella bacteria to those companies. A subsequent inspection by the Food and Drug Administration found that the barns of the egg producers were infested with flies, maggots and rodents, and had overflowing manure pits. Lab tests from Hillandale Farms are still under review.
Wright County Egg recently release a statement saying that it was committed to fully cooperating with the committee and had provided test results to Congress and the FDA last week.