米 鶏卵サルモネラ菌汚染の疑い


Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms
所有者 Jack DeCoster




2010.08.21 Web posted at: 13:44 JST Updated - CNN

(CNN) サルモネラ菌汚染の疑いがあるとして全米で回収された卵の数が5億個を突破した。

---米の卵回収、新たに1.7億個 サルモネラ菌汚染の恐れ---


---Farms recalling eggs share suppliers, other ties---

WASHINGTON - Two Iowa farms that recalled more than a half-billion eggs linked to as many as 1,300 cases of salmonella poisoning share suppliers of chickens and feed as well as ties to an Iowa business routinely cited for violating state and federal law, an egg industry spokeswoman said.

Food and Drug Administration investigators have yet to determine the cause of the salmonella outbreaks at Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms. The FDA investigation could take months, and sources of contamination are often difficult to find.

The number of illnesses, which can be life-threatening, especially to those with weakened immune systems, is expected to increase. The most common symptoms are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever eight to 72 hours of eating a contaminated product.

Jewanna Porter, a spokeswoman for the egg industry, said Saturday the company Quality Egg supplies young chickens and feed to both Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms. The two share other suppliers, she said, but she did not name them.

The egg industry has consolidated over recent years, placing fewer, larger businesses in control over much of the nation's egg supply to consumers.

The salmonella outbreak has raised questions about federal inspections of egg farms. The FDA oversees inspections of shell eggs, while the Agriculture Department is in charge of inspecting other egg products.

William D. Marler, a Seattle attorney for a person who filed suit alleging illness from tainted eggs in a salad at a restaurant in Kenosha, Wis., said Sunday his firm has been retained by two dozen families and was representing a woman who was hospitalized in California.

"The history of ignoring the law makes the sickening of 1,300 and the forced recall of 550 million eggs shockingly understandable," Marler said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "You have to wonder where the USDA and FDA inspectors were."

Businessman Austin "Jack" DeCoster owns Wright County Egg and Quality Egg. Wright County Egg recalled 380 million eggs Aug. 13 after it was linked to more than 1,000 cases of salmonella poisoning. A week later, Hillandale Farms recalled 170 million eggs.

DeCoster is no stranger to controversy in his food and farm operations:

_In 1994, the state of Iowa assessed at least four separate penalties against DeCoster Farms for environmental violations, many of them involving hog waste.

_In 1997, DeCoster Egg Farms agreed to pay $2 million in fines to settle citations brought in 1996 for health and safety violations at DeCoster's farm in Turner, Maine. The nation's labor secretary at the time, Robert Reich, said conditions were "as dangerous and oppressive as any sweatshop." Reich's successor, Alexis Herman, called the state of the farms "simply atrocious," citing unguarded machinery, electrical hazards, exposure to harmful bacteria and other unsanitary conditions.

_In 2000, Iowa designated DeCoster a "habitual violator" of environmental regulations for problems that included hog manure runoff into waterways. The label made him subject to increased penalties and prohibited him from building new farms.

_In 2002, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced a more than $1.5 million settlement of an employment discrimination lawsuit against DeCoster Farms on behalf of Mexican women who reported they were subjected to sexual harassment, including rape, abuse and retaliation by some supervisory workers at DeCoster's Wright County plants.

_In 2007, 51 workers were arrested during an immigration raid at six DeCoster egg farms. His farms had been the subject of at least three previous raids.

_In June 2010, Maine Contract Farming, the successor company to DeCoster Egg Farms, agreed in state court to pay $25,000 in penalties and to make a one-time payment of $100,000 to the Maine Department of Agriculture over animal cruelty allegations that were spurred by a hidden-camera investigation by an animal welfare organization.

In a statement issued Sunday, Wright County Egg spokeswoman Hinda Mitchell said: "When issues have been raised about our farms, our management team has addressed them swiftly and effectively, working with recognized outside experts to identify and establish corrective measures for our operations. We are approaching our work with FDA in the same forthright manner."

Wright County Egg also faces a lawsuit from food distributor Dutch Farms alleging that the company used unauthorized cartons to package and sell eggs under its brand without its knowledge.

The CDC said last week that investigations by 10 states since April have identified 26 cases where more than one person became ill. Preliminary information showed that Wright was the supplier in at least 15 of those cases.

---米、卵3億8千万個自主回収 サルモネラ汚染で---
2010/08/20 09:36


---サルモネラ菌汚染、卵3億8千万個回収…米 Twitterでつぶやく---
2010年8月20日 読売新聞


---REgg Recall Expanded After Salmonella Outbreak---
Published: August 18, 2010

An Iowa company on Wednesday broadened a nationwide recall of its eggs to 380 million after some of its facilities were linked to an outbreak of salmonella that has sickened hundreds of people across the country.

The outbreak, which federal officials said was the largest of its type related to eggs in years, began in May, just weeks before new government safety rules went into effect that were intended to greatly reduce the risk of salmonella in eggs.

The company behind the recall, Wright County Egg, of Galt, Iowa, is owned by Jack DeCoster, who has had run-ins with regulators over poor or unsafe working conditions, environmental violations, the harassment of workers and the hiring of illegal immigrants.

The salmonella outbreak began in May, when several states began seeing an increase in the number of cases of a common type of bacterial illness known as Salmonella Enteritidis, said Dr. Christopher R. Braden, acting director of food-borne diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. The numbers continued to grow, and in June and July, a database used to track disease nationwide found that the number of cases had risen from a historical average of about 50 a week to about 200.

Public health officials in California, Minnesota and Colorado determined that many of the people who had gotten sick had eaten food containing eggs. Further investigation traced many tainted eggs to Wright County Egg.

The company announced on Friday that it was recalling 228 million eggs that it had sold since mid-May. On Wednesday, it added another 152 million eggs to the recall. Many of the affected eggs have long since been cooked and eaten, but millions could still be stored in refrigerators.

The company said the recalled eggs came from five plants and were distributed across the country under the brand names Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms, Kemps, James Farms, Glenview and Pacific Coast. (Dutch Farms said Wright County packaged eggs under its brand without permission.)

The recalled eggs are packed in varying sizes of cartons, including six-egg, dozen-egg and 18-egg cartons, and loose eggs for institutional use and repackaging, the Food and Drug Administration said. The cartons have date codes stamped at one end, ranging from 136 to 229 and plant numbers 1026, 1413, 1720, 1942 or 1946. The F.D.A. said the plant number is preceded by the letter P, followed by the date code, and showed an example on its Web site.

Consumers were told to return the eggs to stores.

Dr. Braden said that it was not yet possible to say how many people had fallen ill in the outbreak although it certainly numbered in the hundreds. Typically in salmonella outbreaks, only about one in 30 cases is reported to authorities, he said, so thousands of people may have been affected. He said there were no reports of deaths.

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pains. In rare cases, it can cause more serious illness, including arterial infections.

The pathogen is transferred to eggs by infected hens and it can be found inside eggs that appear normal. The bacteria is destroyed by heat but people can become sick if they eat raw or incompletely cooked eggs. Federal regulators have grappled with the problem of salmonella in eggs since it first emerged in the 1980s. But proposals to improve regulations were largely unsuccessful until a year ago, when the Food and Drug Administration announced a new set of rules, which became effective on July 9.

The rules initially apply to egg producers with 50,000 or more laying hens, a category that federal officials said included Wright County Egg. The rules require producers to establish measures to control rodents that can pass salmonella to hens and to prevent contamination by workers or equipment. They also establish testing requirements for poultry houses and eggs.

In a news release on July 9, the F.D.A. said that the rules would prevent as many as 79,000 illnesses and 30 deaths a year related to the consumption of tainted eggs.

Dr. Braden said that investigators looking into the outbreak found cases in which restaurants had used raw eggs in a salad dressing or mixed raw eggs into soup. A case in California in May was traced to a catered event where people had eaten profiteroles containing a custard made with eggs, according to officials in that state.

Hinda Mitchell, a spokeswoman for Wright County Egg, said that the company had put the required federal measures in place by the July deadline. She said that before that date, the company had participated in a voluntary industry program that included steps similar to some of the new federal requirements.

Mr. DeCoster is well known to federal regulators.

In 1997, one of his companies agreed to pay a $2 million fine by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for violations in the workplace and worker housing. Officials said workers were forced to handle manure and dead chickens with their bare hands and to live in trailers infested with rats. The labor secretary in the Clinton administration, Robert B. Reich, called Mr. DeCoster’s operation “an agricultural sweatshop.”

Mr. DeCoster’s facilities have also been periodically raided by immigration officials. In 2003, Mr. DeCoster pleaded guilty to charges of knowingly hiring immigrants who were in the country illegally and he paid more than $2 million as part of a federal settlement.

Mr. DeCoster was also charged by Iowa authorities in the 1990s with violations of environmental rules governing hog manure runoff.

Ms. Mitchell said that Mr. DeCoster was not available for an interview.

0 コメント: