Over 200 million white eggs distributed by Rose Acre Farms in Seymour, Indiana, were recalled on April 13 after health officials traced multiple salmonella illnesses back to eggs produced at the company’s facility in North Carolina. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a new inspection report for the producer detailing several violations, including a mouse infestation and improper procedures by employees at the facility.
According to the report, inspections were conducted on the farm between March 26 and April 11. Officials found living mice and insect-swarmed carcasses in both feeding and production areas. Apparently, this issue was originally addressed by the FDA in September 2017 to no avail.
Poor employee practices also reportedly contributed to “an environment that allows for the harborage, proliferation and spread of filth and pathogens,” according to the report. This includes improper cleaning procedures performed by workers, who were seen touching their hair, faces, and intergluteal clefts (also known as “butt cracks”) in addition to trash and grime before touching eggs and food contact surfaces without washing their hands.
The Daily Meal has reached out to Rose Acre Farms for comment.
This recall affects over 200 million white eggs sold at Publix and other small retailers in Florida, in addition to Country Daybreak, Coburn Farms, Crystal Farms, Sunshine Farms, and Glenview branded packages sold to Walmart and Food Lion in Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Some eggs also reportedly went to Waffle House.
To date, 22 people are thought to have been sickened with salmonella by eggs produced by Rose Acre Farms, according to the FDA. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps and other flu-like conditions. These normally show up within 12 to 74 hours of infection and can last up to a week in healthy people. Children, the elderly, or people with weakened immune systems may experience more severe symptoms.
In addition to this salmonella scare, people are recommended to avoid bagged and chopped romaine lettuce produced in the Yuma, Arizona, region due to fears of E. coli. No single producer, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified in that outbreak, but 53 people in 16 states have been sickened and 31 people have been hospitalized in connection to the outbreak. Looking for something you can eat? Try these 15 “clean” fruits and vegetables that are least likely to poison you.
Updated April 20 at 3:02 p.m.
In a statement to The Daily Meal, a Rose Acre Farm spokesperson said:
“The FDA’s form 483 inspection report on our Hyde County, North Carolina farm is based on raw observations and in some cases lack proper context. In fact, Rose Acre has been waiting for more than 23 days for the FDA’s test results related to the farm inspection. It’s unfair to be judged on the farm’s operation without proper perspective or a chance to formally respond to an incomplete representation of a massive facility that houses more than 3 million hens. We do everything possible to safeguard our flocks and to ensure that we are providing a safe, affordable and abundant supply of eggs to U.S. consumers. We are preparing a formal response to the report, which is due on April 26. We will be happy to share that response with you once it is complete. Until then, we would urge everyone to wait until all the facts are presented before rushing to judgment. Thank you for your understanding and patience.”