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Salmonella Strain Blamed in Outbreak is Confirmed at 2 Iowa Farms
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 27 - 08 - 2010

Laboratory tests have confirmed that two Iowa egg companies are contaminated with the same strain of salmonella blamed for a national outbreak of illness, which continues to claim victims and has sickened at least 1,500 people, federal officials said Thursday.
The confirmation backs up suspicions by the Food and Drug Administration that tainted eggs from the two Iowa producers have caused the biggest case of Salmonella enteritidis disease that federal officials have seen since they began tracking the illness in the 1970s.
The FDA, which has sent 20 investigators to the two farms - Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms - said Thursday that it had detected the particular strain of salmonella in two barns at Wright County Egg and in feed that the company made and gave to its own chickens. The agency also found that strain in feed that Wright supplied to Hillandale.
"These are the very first results that we're beginning to get in, and there are many other results in the queue that may give us clues as to the the extent of contamination," said Jeff Farrar, associate commissioner for food protection at the FDA. He said that the agency had taken 600 samples at the farms for laboratory analysis and that additional results were expected.
Officials from Wright County Egg said in a statement that the presence of salmonella on the property did not necessarily mean that the eggs were infected. But the company also pledged to work with the FDA.
It was unclear how the feed or the barns became contaminated with bacteria.
Animal feed is generally heated to kill microbes, so it is possible that the feed became contaminated after it arrived at Wright County Egg, said Josh Sharfstein, deputy commissioner at the FDA.
"The feed facility is at the same location of all these problems," Sharfstein said, referring to Wright County Egg, which operates a feed mill as well as hen-laying facilities and egg-processing plants. "So there are multiple ways it may have become contaminated."


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