Federal inspections report rodents, unsanitary worker practices behind egg recall

A report from the Food and Drug Administration reports rodents and unsanitary conditions at a North Carolina egg distributor linked to a major salmonella contamination. It’s a case where lack of integrated pest management had serious health consequences and created food safety issues.

Inspectors found “unacceptable rodent activity” and dirty equipment at the Rose Acre Farms egg operation in Pantego, N.C., during visits from March 26 to April 11, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration report. They also noted employees touching dirty floors, equipment and their bodies without washing their hands.

The unsafe conditions allow “for the harborage, proliferation and spread of filth and pathogens,” inspectors said.

The inspectors’ observations in the report included:

  • Dozens of live and dead rodents, including baby mice, in chicken houses and manure pits.
  • Flying insects throughout the facility.
  • Employees skipping steps in the cleaning process by wiping off detergent before allowing it to soak in the eggs.
  • Condensation dripping onto crack detectors, egg graders and other production equipment.
  • Water pooling on floors and forklift pathways.
  • Grimy, dirty floors, pallets and equipment.
  • Farm workers touching dirty equipment and trash cans as well as their face, hair and “intergluteal cleft,” meaning their butts, before touching eggs or handling equipment that touches eggs without washing hands or changing gloves.

A spokesperson from Rose Acre Farms asked that the public refrain from judgment until they have sent their response to the report.

The FDA asks that anyone who has purchased eggs contained in the recall to discard them and sanitize any contaminated surfaces.

The following brands are included in the recall:

  • Eggs sold under the brand names Country Daybreak, Crystal Farms, Coburn Farms, Sunshine Farms, Glenview and Great Value. Also included were eggs sold at Walmart and Food Lion stores.
  • The cartons were stamped with plant number P-1065 and the Julian date range of 011 through 102.

Source: FDA report

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