New FDA Laws On Egg Safety Would Have Prevented Salmonella Outbreak, Feds Say
The Washington Post: "Salmonella-infected eggs traceable to a large egg producer in Iowa may have caused as many as 1,200 cases of intestinal illness The eggs went to distribution companies in 17 states, mostly west of the Mississippi River, but were then sold nationwide. ... Many states, as well as egg-producer associations, have voluntary 'egg quality assurance' programs with guidelines similar to those that are now mandatory. In healthy people, it rarely causes severe illness. In people with a weak immune system -- and especially in AIDS patients -- salmonella can cause life-threatening bloodstream, blood vessel or brain infections" (Brown, 8/20).
CQ HealthBeat: "Federal officials said Thursday that a massive recall of eggs potentially contaminated with salmonella could have been averted if new federal rules safeguarding egg production had been in place. Under a rule that went into effect in July, after the outbreak began, large-scale egg producers must adopt new preventive measures and refrigerate eggs during storage and transportation."
"The recall, which [Sherri McGarry, director of the Division of Public Health and Biostatistics at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the FDA] told reporters was one of the largest shell egg recalls in recent history, also renewed calls in Congress for speedy approval of a food safety bill (S 510) that's been stalled in the Senate. The House has also approved legislation (HR 2749)" (Norman, 8/19).