According to the Wall Street Journal, USDA experts knew about sanitary problems at one of the two Iowa farms at the center of a massive nationwide egg recall, but did not notify health authorities. The Journal said USDA daily sanitation reports underscored the regulatory gaps that may have contributed to delays in discovering salmonella contamination.
The Food and Drug Administration, which has overall responsibility for egg safety, said it never heard from USDA about problems such as dirt and mold in the Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa, facility. USDA said it didn't give notice because the conditions at the egg plant packing facilities were routine.
WSJ said it was not clear whether the sanitation problems identified by the USDA experts had anything to do with the salmonella contamination. Earlier, the Food and Drug Administration said bacteria found in chicken feed used at the two Iowa farms was linked to a salmonella outbreak that prompted the recall of more than a half billion eggs.