500 million egg were recalled in August after nearly 2,000 were sickened.  And, now the FDA is in the implementation phase of a new federal rule (“Egg Rule”) aimed at preventing Salmonella in shell eggs.

salmonella egg.jpgThe FDA has now inspected 35 shell egg farms in six states–Ohio, Maine, Pennsylvania, Washington, South Carolina, and Utah–all of which had either been associated with an outbreak or were flagged because of a poor compliance history. The FDA found that 12 farms needed to make changes, 11 were given a final inspection classification as “No Action Indicated,” and 12 farms are still waiting on their status. Of 1,796 environmental swabs collected, 76–four percent–were positive for Salmonella Entertidis.

The report was the first issued by the FDA in its year-long initiative to inspect every major egg farm in the U.S. There are about 600 farms with over 50,000 laying hens that are currently subject to the new egg safety rule.

“The remaining farms will receive a targeted inspection focused on compliance with the major provisions of the Rule,” according to FDA. “An evidentiary threshold based on initial inspectional observations is being established for these sites, which will trigger comprehensive inspections that will include environmental sampling, if indicated. FDA and its state partners will be in communication throughout the course of this assignment to share the results of inspections.”

Yes, the FDA is in the pocket of Big Ag – right!  However, where is the transparency?  The “farms,” with both good and bad results should be named.