August 19, 2010 by USA Post
Salmonella Eggs, A national salmonella outbreak that sickened thousands could have led to the withdrawal of 380 million eggs and renewed questions about whether it is feasible to maintain the microbe – the source most common bacterial foodborne illnesses in the nation – out of the henhouse .
The response of the experiences in Denmark and Sweden seems to be a qualified yes. It can be done, but at what price?
The eggs are leaving the market – the amount was extended on Wednesday of 228 million – are from Wright County Egg, a company of Galt, Iowa, whose five production facilities of 2.3 million dozen eggs a week, says Hinda Mitchell spokeswoman. The total eggs recalled nearly 32 million dozen. In 2009, the United States produced about 6.5 billion dozen eggs, said that the United Egg Producers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that hundreds of people have become ill in the outbreak, which appears to have begun in May. Christopher Braden CDC epidemiologist, said Wednesday that there may be thousands of diseases, but no deaths were reported. California health officials say at least 266 people were sickened in that state.
“We are speculating that may have had a heavily infected herd or product may have been mishandled, but do not really know,” says Mindy Brashears, professor of food safety at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
The Food and Drug Administration has new egg safety regulations which came into force on July 9 for producers with more than 50,000 chickens. Small farmers have two more years to prepare.
The rules laid down new procedures for testing of Salmonella enteritidis and the requirements for pasteurization if the tests are positive. Rodent and pest control measures must be in place in poultry, which must be disinfected before the chickens are added.
This is again for egg producers in Sweden and Denmark, which virtually eliminated all Salmonella in poultry since the 1970s. Flocks tested and if any positive came, would be sacrificed, says Lars Plym Forshell with the National Food Administration of Sweden. “In the early days, farmers have 100% of compensation” for the government who lost their herds. Today, with only two or three packs a year that needs to be destroyed, is covered by insurance.
U.S. experts say such draconian programs are meaningless. “Salmonella is widely distributed in the environment, so even if you destroy an entire herd, there is still a possibility that can contaminate the environment,” says Brashears.
Forshell counters that his country is governed by very strict rules for the construction of poultry houses to keep out insects and rodents that often lead to disease.
It is a question of whether to keep the disease out or deal with it later through testing and pasteurization. Europe in general the problem roots, the United States tend to seek solutions after the harvest, said Mogens Madsen, a food safety expert with the Technical University of Denmark.
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