retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times reports that "two large egg producers have received warning letters from the Food and Drug Administration, which said they violated a two-year-old rule aimed at preventing salmonella contamination.

"During inspections conducted last summer, the F.D.A. found failures to prevent pests and wildlife from entering barns housing laying hens, poor record-keeping and other infractions that amounted to what it called 'serious violations' of the rule."

According to the story, "Both producers, Midwest Poultry Services of Mentone, Ind., and SKS Enterprises Inc., in Lodi, Calif., failed to comply with plans they had submitted to the agency aimed at preventing salmonella enteritidis, one of the most common types of salmonella bacteria, the F.D.A. said. Such plans were required by a rule set out two years ago.

"Officials noted the presence of more than 30 wild birds and their nests in three of the five SKS facilities they inspected between May and August, despite the company’s plans for preventing wildlife from coming into contact with its chickens and eggs. After the inspection, SKS told the agency it would use chicken wire to prevent wild birds from entering its barns, but the agency said it had not received any follow-up report on that correction.

"The F.D.A. also said the company was missing pest control records and failed to conduct tests of its birds within time frames specified by the rule."
KC's View:
First of all, let me say this...

Yuck.

Second of all, this seems to be yet another example of why we need tougher, more aggressive food safety rules, and why I hope that the Congress doesn't dither over funding the new rules being proposed by the FDA, which are mandated by law.