Last year, bird flu outbreak forced local authorities to suspend regular inspections of egg farms. There was fear that investigators may spread flu from farm to farm. The concern is that the regular investigations haven’t resumed since then.
The bird flu caused deaths to 48 million birds nationwide. The federal investigators restricted local officials from carrying out any egg farm investigations. In 2010, there were around 2,000 cases of salmonella illnesses that were linked to an Iowa egg farm. This has led to the need of regular observation of farms for checking quality of eggs. However, for long, investigations of egg farms have been on hold.
“This is jaw-dropping. The inspectors are turning up potential hazards. Why anybody would tell you with a straight face that suspending these inspections is no big deal is beyond my comprehension,” said Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University and an author of books on food safety.
There are several other states which also suspended investigation due to bird flu outbreak, but last year, most of them resumed the inspection, which is missing in Iowa. The state can start inspection once the Food and Drug Administration let them carry out same.
One year ago, Iowa and 14 other states faced worst animal disease outbreak in nation’s history. A highly pathogenic avian influenza attacked birds in the states. There were more than 30 million deaths to birds reported.
Hundreds of Iowa families are engaged in egg farming business. Good quality eggs are essential for the reputation of egg farms and safety of consumers. In recent years, egg farms are facing hard time protecting their flocks from the deadly virus.