Egg company Rembrandt Foods expects repopulate its flocks at its farm in Rembrandt, Iowa, in January. The farm of about 5.5 million chickens had to be depopulated earlier in 2015 because highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza was detected at the site.
The company has completed the necessary sanitizing procedures and completed the 21-day waiting period necessary to be given clearance to repopulate.
Rembrandt Foods states it is continually working on increasing its biosecurity measures and has implemented a new 15-point biosecurity plan. The largest measure of the plan, the company stated, has been pouring concrete at its sites for vehicle parking, which will reduce the amount of dust in the air, which has been identified as a potential cause of avian influenza entering the barns.
Since being hit by the avian influenza outbreak, Rembrandt Foods had been actively working with global industry partners to find any available egg supply to help support its customers. According to the company’s website, Rembrandt Foods has currently globally sourced about 62 percent of its lost volume from off-line shell eggs to be broken and processed over the next 18 months. Off-line shell egg breaking has been done at both the company’s facilities in Rembrandt and in Renville, Minnesota.
Rembrandt Foods is the third largest egg producer in the United States, according to the February 2015 Egg Industry Topp Egg Company survey, with 14.5 million hens housed on December 31, 2014.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced on November 6 that the avian influenza-related quarantines on all commercial egg and turkey farms in the state have been lifted, although quarantines remain in place at five sites with backyard flocks.