Salmonella positives on egg farm for past 2 years; why are mortals only finding out now

Salmonella test results for any egg farm should be publicly available to whoever wants them – on the label, at point-of-sale, on a web site, whatever – if that egg producer wants to gain public trust and confidence. I get the whole good-egg-project concept I watch incessantly on Sesame Street but I’d rather my kid didn’t barf from salmonella-contaminated eggs. I’ll do my part, but I want producers to do their part, and advertize the results so I can vote with my money.

A bunch of media outlets are reporting this afternoon that congressional investigators revealed today lab tests found hundreds of cases of salmonella contamination at an Iowa farm in a nearly two-year period before the outbreak that prompted a massive recall of eggs this summer.

Wright County Egg is one of two farms at the center of the massive recall. In a letter to its owner, Austin "Jack" DeCoster, leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said tests confirmed 426 cases of salmonella contamination between September 2008 and the past July, and 73 were "potentially" positive for the strain of the disease involved in this year’s outbreak.

The committee’s Democratic leaders asked DeCoster to explain those findings when he appears at a September 21 hearing. They also called on him to explain why those test reports weren’t included in material the company has provided to Congress so far, and demanded that the company produce "all documents relating to your response to the test results" by Wednesday.

Iowa State University expert Darrell Trampel told the DesMoines Register that is “quite a high level of contamination.” Ideally, farms would have no positive test results for the bacteria, but it would be typical to have half a dozen to a dozen over that period at the most. The test results are from tests of areas around the hen houses rather than of the eggs themselves.

Why does it take over 1,500 illnesses for such data to be publicly released? And what would a day of raw-egg revelations be without another food porn recipe in, this time, the N.Y. Times, for food-processor mayonnaise, using raw eggs.

I expect continued silence from the egg types.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time