Further investigations at the two Iowa farms to which the nationwide salmonella outbreak has been linked have revealed safety violations of regulations implemented by the Food and Drug Administration, FDA, in July. FDA officials found live mice, salmonella-infested water, and leaking manure. Contaminated chicken feed was initially found to be the source of the over 1,500 cases of salmonella poisoning recorded throughout the United States over the past few months, explains a California injury attorney.
Both farms have been sited on numerous occasions in the past for safety violations. Austin “Jack” DeCoster, the owner of Wright County Egg, the farm responsible for the recall of 380 million eggs earlier this month, paid $2 million in fines in 1997 for health and safety violations, including unguarded machinery, electrical hazards, and unsanitary conditions, such as bacteria infestation; in 2000, the state of Iowa prohibited him from building additional farms for violating environmental regulations, including allowing hog manure to leak into waterways; and, as recently as last June, he paid out $125,000 in fines for animal cruelty violations. Contaminated chicken feed found at Hillandale Farms-a major source of California’s eggs-was also linked to DeCoster’s farm.
“The fact that this individual has repeatedly jeopardized the public’s health and is still permitted to continue producing food for the population suggests a disturbing degree of inefficacy on the part of our country’s food and drug regulation system,” remarked a California injury attorney.
Despite having 15 federal agencies and over 24 congressional committees tracking the food supply, the United States has experienced a months-long salmonella outbreak that has impacted hundreds of lives. Until safety regulations are improved and implemented more efficiently, consumers should take precautions to avoid food-borne illnesses, such as thoroughly cooking eggs, washing hands before and after handling raw eggs, and immediately discarding cracked eggshells.
For information on the rights of individuals who have suffered food-borne illnesses as a result of safety violations or to discuss a specific case, feel free to call California injury attorney, James Ballidis, at 866-981-5596.