29 September 2010

National safety expert horrified by conditions at egg farms

In a House subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, the heads of the egg farms linked to over 1,600 cases of salmonella across America were questioned, as details of conditions found by FDA inspectors were revealed to stunned members of Congress.

Inspectors found live and dead rodents, flies and maggots, dead and rotting chickens, liquid manure leaking from buildings, standing water, and piles of manure in the chicken houses. Some of these piles reached eight feet high and in some cases the large amounts of manure on the ground prevented the workers from closing the doors.

The former Chairman on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commision, Hon. Nancy Harvey Steorts says that it is time for consumers to take action and cease buying eggs until the egg producers stop these horrible practices and the industry can prove that eggs are safe to consume. Steorts also advocates a well funded, separate, independent agency with strong authority to be focused solely on food safety standards.

Perhaps we need to look closer and ask for solutions to these problems:
  • Should supermarkets buy from these corruptible producers, and should they inform their customers where their eggs are produced and how?
  • Ensure that federal, state and local authorities go after these producers and order them to clean up or be shut down.
  • Set up an accredited 3rd party certification to be put in place immediately.
  • Consumers need to demand a safe food supply and should be able to rely on the industry and government to produce safe food.

Bev Hahler | @redhotvegan
Bev, a vegetarian since she was 14 years old, became more interested in veganism several years ago after studying Agro-business as part of an Ecology degree. Follow Bev on her blog and Facebook.

Photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/ivanwalsh