Friday, August 27, 2010

Salmonella egg recall.

Maybe I'm a lost ball in the high weeds but I have a plethora of questions about this "news report". I've made bold the sections I find dubious. As you read, see if you can realize what's wrong with the picture. At the end of the quoted text, I'll explain my questions.

WASHINGTON -- A House panel wants the owners of two Iowa companies involved in a massive egg recall to explain how eggs from their farms were linked to as many as 1,300 cases of salmonella poisoning.

A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will hold a hearing on the recall Sept. 14. The committee is inviting Austin "Jack" DeCoster, the owner of Wright County Egg, and Orland Bethel, the owner of Hillandale Farms, to testify. The two farms have recalled more than 550 million eggs after they were linked to the cases of salmonella poisoning.

The committee is doing an investigation into the recall and has written both farms, asking about company operations, communications with the government and what they knew and when.

The panel has also written the Food and Drug Administration, which oversees the safety of shell eggs, and the Agriculture Department, which oversees other egg products and the health of the hens. The committee asked for records of inspections and past communications with the two farms, along with other documents. The FDA has said it has "no inspectional history" with the two farms.

Rep. Rose DeLauro, D-Conn., who heads the spending committee that oversees the FDA and USDA, has also written letters to the two agencies.

A spokeswoman for Wright County Egg would not say if DeCoster will attend the September hearing, but said the company is "working right now" to respond to the committee.

"We will approach it in the same forthright manner as we have in our cooperation with FDA to date," said Hinda Mitchell.

DeCoster has not responded to interview requests, and a worker at his office's headquarters near Galt, Iowa on Wednesday said he wasn't available. At his home in Clarion, Iowa on Wednesday, his wife Patricia also said he was not around. She said the last few weeks "have been quite a time for us" but declined further comment.

A spokeswoman for Hillandale Farms did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

FDA officials have said they don't expect the recall to grow beyond the two farms. The number of illnesses, which can be life-threatening, especially to those with weakened immune systems, is expected to increase.

Thoroughly cooking eggs can kill the bacteria. But health officials are recommending people throw away or return the recalled eggs.
Okay, let's start at the beginning. These two companies are recalling 550 million eggs (roughly 3 months of production) and yet the FDA "which oversees the safety of shell eggs" said it has "no inspectional history" with the two farms. I'm not sure what they mean by "inspectional history" but I suspect a smoke screen since "inspectional" sends off a red flag in my spell-checker and I can't find any credible definition for the word and the only time the word seems to be used at all is on various governmental sites. It seems to me that if you're going to use a word that has little to no meaning, you're doing it intentionally as a way of covering your ass later.

Rep. Rose DeLauro- Democrat- who heads the spending committee oversees the two agencies has sent letters to the two agencies? Letters? Really?

Then there's Hinda Mitchell. Who is that? There is no mention of her anywhere else in the article nor is there any reference to her relevance to the report. Nevertheless, she states that they (whoever "they" are) will deal with the FDA just as they have in the past. Of course, the lack of "inspectional history" might indicate that they haven't dealt with the FDA in the past. Since I don't really know what "inspectional history" means, I can't say for sure.

Lastly, FDA officials who presumably have no inspectional history with the two companies in the past are fully ready to state that they don't expect the recall to exceed these two farms. How would they know? Are they even doing their job? Ever? Maybe they're just crossing their fingers and hoping it won't grow so they can go back to their cubicles and play sudoku in peace ON OUR DIME.

Article here.


jules said...

I believe Hinda Mitchell is a public relations person from the Cochran Group. As far as no "Inspectional History", your telling me that two farms that produce at least a half a billion eggs was not checked in on at any point. Yeah I don't think so. What probably happened was this
FED 1: "Hey we need to go to Iowa this weekend and check on some eggs."

FED 2: "Iowa, really?"

FED 1: "Yeah, I mean unless you want to do something else."

FED 2: "Well they did just re-release Avatar with with like 8 new minutes."

FED 1: "Oh, that's this weekend. Fuck Iowa."

Evil_Klown said...

Yes, nice of the committee to "invite" the guy to "testify." They just want to haul him up and publicly humiliate him ... it's how these useless crapstains get their jollies.

I think we need to have more Stalinist show-trials on capitol hill. We can start with the FDA and the USDA who both have a kazillion employees in charge of tormenting honest businessmen and they STILL couldn't stop some Salmonella ... NICE job.

Now they seem to think it was in the feed. Now lets watch the clucking dipsticks on the "committee" go after the feed company ... no matter HOW MUCH IT COSTS.

scot said...

Crap. Just eat one, get sick, and get a lawyer to sue and never have to work again in your life.

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