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on August 18, 2010

UPDATE: Investigation continues in US egg recall

Multiple violations found, according to FDA inspection reports

Updated Sept. 2, 8:15 a.m. CST to include latest recall information 

Inspection reports released on six Wright County Egg and Quality Egg farms and three Hillandale Farms locations in response to the current U.S. egg recall pointed out multiple violations, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Some Wright County Egg facilities were found to have chicken manure piles up to eight feet high, said inspectors. Some of the mounds prevented doors from closing, which may have given other animals like rats the opportunity to enter. Chickens were accessing the egg-laying area by going over the manure piles. Further, Wright County and Quality Egg workers did not always wear protective clothing, birds were found in the storage and milling facilities and feed bins had rusted holes and gaps. In some areas, "live and dead flies were too numerous to count," said the report.

Hillandale Farm inspections found rodents and rodent holes, liquid manure leaking into a chicken house and uncaged chickens tracking manure into a caged henhouse. Both companies have said that they take the reports seriously and intend to address the violations as swiftly as possible. "Several of the issues had been identified by the facilities prior to FDA's inspection and were already in the process of being addressed during the inspection period," said a Hillandale spokesperson. "Additionally, some of the issues were immediately corrected as soon as they were identified." Wright County representatives said they anticipate the completion of changes in response to the listed violations by mid-September.

Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms have recalled over half a billion shell eggs between them. The FDA reported that an estimated 1,470 cases of Salmonella enteritidis so far can be linked to the outbreak.

The Wright County Egg recall specifically relates to eggs packed between May 16 and Aug. 13, with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 229 and plant numbers 1026, 1413, 1720, 1942 and 1946. Brand names include: Cardenas, Trafficanda, Lucerne, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Dutch Farms, James Farms, Glenview, Mountain Dairy, Ralphs, Boomsma, Lund, Kemps and Pacific Coast. Affected eggs were distributed to food wholesalers, distribution centers and foodservice companies in California, Arizona, Missouri, Minnesota, Texas, Georgia, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Illinois, Utah, Nebraska, Arkansas, Wisconsin and Oklahoma.

The Hillandale Farms recall covers eggs distributed under the brand names Hillandale Farms, Sunny Farms and Sunny Meadow sold between April and August. Hillandale said the eggs were distributed to grocery distribution centers, retail groceries and food service companies that serve or are located in 14 states: Kansas, Arkansas, California, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin. 

A complete list of affected eggs is available through the Egg Safety Center.

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