WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration says it found numerous sanitation and biosecurity lapses, including live mice, in the Iowa hen houses that have been linked to a salmonella outbreak and a nationwide egg recall.
Mice are one of the main sources of salmonella bacteria on egg farms. The farms are required by industry standards and now government regulations to make sure that mice and other rodents can’t get in hen houses and infect the birds with salmonella.
However, in reports released today investigators said they found mice in four farms operated by Galt-based Wright County Egg. The investigators also said they saw rodent burrows, structural damage to houses, gaps around doors, wild birds flying around, and “live and dead flies too numerous to count.”
Some of the farms also lacked rodent inspection reports.
A farm at West Union that’s also linked to the outbreak and operated by Hillandale Farms of Iowa had numerous rodent holes in houses. Some 35 uncaged hens were seen tracking manure from the manure pit into the upper level of the house were hens were in cages.
At a second Hillandale-operated farm at Alden, investigators found liquid manure leaking onto the floor of one hen.
The reports were released ahead of a conference call where officials with the FDA were to brief reporters on the investigation.
FDA officials have said the farms were not operating up to responsible standards.
Source: Des Moines Register