Hillandale Farms can sell eggs again after salmonella outbreak and recall

With the latest confirmed salmonella count topping 1,800 victims, the producer that provided the contaminated eggs has been cleared to resume sales.

Elizabeth Weise USA Today reports the Food and Drug Administration has given Hillandale Farms, one of two Midwest egg producers at the center of this summer’s massive egg recall, the go-ahead to sell shell eggs again. But the other, Wright County Egg, instead got a scathing warning letter threatening that if corrective action is not taken, the FDA could seize company assets.

The warning letter sent on Friday said FDA inspectors had found "serious deviations" from salmonella regulations at the company’s plants in Galt, Clarion and Dows, Iowa, including:

•Failure "to eliminate rodent hiding places and nesting sites," and failure to properly seal its henhouses.

•Failure to eliminate sources of water in the manure pits below the henhouses.

•Failure to require employees to "change protective clothing when moving from house to house."

•Failure to keep uncaged chickens out of the egg-laying operation.

•Findings of live mice, live and dead flies and live and dead maggots "too numerous to count" in the henhouses.

The Centers for Disease Control reported yesterday that from May 1 to October 15, 2010, approximately 1,813 illnesses were reported that are likely to be associated with this outbreak.