USA Today says egg recalls fit pattern of negligence, lax oversight; industry says, no

He said, she said in today’s USA Today, with the editorial board saying the salmonella outbreak that has sickened thousands means “someone obviously fouled up,” and Indiana egg farmer and United Egg Producers chairman, Bob Krouse, saying “completely cooked eggs are completely safe eggs.”

Krouse: “Family farms like ours produce 80 billion eggs every year in this country, and we go to great lengths to help ensure the quality and safety of every one of them.”

USA Today: “The egg recall is part of a pattern. When problems emerge with America’s food supply or in other areas where safety is crucial, it often starts with a rogue company or CEO who sees safety violations as a cost of doing business and outmaneuvers federal regulators while Congress dithers.”

Krouse: “Our efforts must be having an effect because the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service estimates the risk of illness to be less than ‘1 in 1 million’ egg servings for the average consumer.”

USA Today: “There’s no excuse for contamination so widespread that it sickens nearly 1,500 people and requires the recall of more than half a billion eggs.”

Krouse: “Egg farmers invest millions of dollars each year in biosecurity and food safety efforts. The vast majority of us already incorporate vaccination programs into our food safety plans.”

USA Today: “Regulations requiring egg farm operators to test for salmonella stayed on the shelf through the notoriously anti-regulatory Bush administration until the Obama administration finally got them into place last month. The FDA says those rules could have prevented the outbreak, which presumes that farms would have complied — and that the FDA would have dogged them.”

Krouse: “It is disappointing to see some groups try to take advantage of this crisis for their own political or social agendas. We urge everyone to wait until the FDA finishes its investigation of the two companies involved before jumping to any conclusions. “

USA Today: “… instead of just writing up violations, it (FDA) needs to crack down on rogue companies, treating them the same way the criminal justice system treats repeat offenders.”