The FDA’s investigation is ongoing at this point; however, there may be signs of progress in finding out why this outbreak occurred in the first place. The source of the salmonella outbreak, contaminated feed at Wright County Egg, which is owned by none other than Mr. Austin “Jack” DeCoster!
Salmonella was found in feed and it did match the strain of salmonella that made thousands of innocent people sickened by food poisoning, but that’s not all it was found in other locations at the egg farm. DeCoster, who is no stranger to violations, seems to be pointing the finger at a third-party supplier, Central Bi-Products.
Interestingly, the samples of feed ingredients that were tested and found positive for salmonella at DeCoster’s Iowa farm were in unmarked bins. What does this mean? Well, first of all the FDA cannot identify where the feed came from so it cannot determine where the contamination occurred. A question comes to mind, how much time passed from the first salmonella outbreak reported, the initial egg recall and the actual inspections. Was it enough to do a little covering-up?
Amazingly, it took thousands becoming sick and one of the most massive egg recalls to make investigators concerned about this person’s operations and alas, they are looking into contamination within the facility. A hearing is set for September 14; Austin “Jack” DeCoster has been invited to testify. Will he show up is the question.
If you are unfamiliar with Central Bi-Products, who they are and what type of feed they produce, it may be extremely interesting to learn more about this company. In addition, you may find The National Magazine of Rendering’s June 2008 issue titled, “FDA Unleashes New Feed Rule” interesting.
Unsafe feed and unhealthy farm operations, is not shocking or even surprising. This egg salmonella out-break has occurred because of the way we do things. If we raise animals in unnatural environments, feed them rendered protein that comes from unhealthy sources, and then eat food sources from these animals of course we are going to get sick.
This is a larger problem than eggs and one businessperson’s greed. It is, however, all about fast turn-around, increased production and profit.
Salmonella find links 2 Iowa farms to egg recall By Mary Clare Japonica, AP, 8/27/2010
Ruminant-to-ruminant Feed Ban and the Potential Transmission of Spongiform Encephalopathies to Humans US FDA, 1/29/1997
FDA Unleashes New Feed Rule, Render, June 2008