Egg Recall Hearing

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - 9:56am

Owners of two Iowa egg farms will testify in front of Congress.

Today the owners of two Iowa egg farms will explain how salmonella infected their plants.

Jack Decoster of Wright County Egg blames chicken feed from an outside supplier. The FDA found filthy conditions at his facility.

Caroline Smith DeWaal of the Center for Science in the Public Interest said, "They had manure piles that were old enough that maggots were forming. They had rat holes allowing rats to enter the facilities."

Deanna Arnold worked at the plant. She blames the government for not doing more.

"I told the USDA officer about it and she said go back and do your job," said Arnold.

Former FDA Associate Commissioner William Hubbard said, "We tend to chase a foodborne disease after it occurs and try to find the problem."

Decoster has been in trouble before. The Labor Secretary called his Maine operation a "sweatshop." Iowa named him a habitual offender.

Decoster recalled over half a billion eggs after the FDA asked him to. No one died, but more than 15-hundred people got sick.

Congress has since learned that Wright County Egg tested positive for salmonella 426 times in the last two years. 73 of those samples were the exact same strain in last month's recall.

Decoster did not include those results in documents he provided Congress. Today they'll ask why.

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