US cracks down on egg production following recall

21-02-2011 | | |

The Secretary of Agriculture in the US state of Iowa, Bill Northey, says the 100 million laying hens in the state are now coming in for “aggressive” attention following last years recall of 550 million eggs.

The eggs were recalled from two Iowa laying operations for Salmonella contamination.

Northey states that the federal government has clearly stepped up its game. “FDA is doing things differently now,” he said. “They are more aggressive in stepping up the requirements for testing eggs and for testing egg producing facilities for food safety.  The situation last year put the spotlight on egg safety.”

Northey told lawmakers the egg rule amounts to an “early warning” system through testing. Iowa’s Ag chief said if facilities test positive for Salmonella, then the eggs are tested. “This is an early warning system that was not being used before the events of last summer,” he said, “but this system is now being used and is required by FDA.”

Iowa’s big egg production facilities are seeing more FDA inspectors than ever before, he said.

Iowa is the US’s largest egg producer. One-third of its 99 counties contain major egg production facilities. The state produces over 14 billion eggs a year, according to the Iowa Egg Council.

Source: Food Safety News