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DeLauro pushes FDA for answers on egg outbreak investigation

Connecticut democrat Rep. Rosa DeLauro Monday sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb asking for additional information regarding the ongoing investigation of a Salmonella outbreak traced to shelled eggs. The outbreak is currently responsible for 35 infections — including 11 hospitalizations — across 9 states.

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-CT, co-chairs the Congressional Food Safety Caucus and is a member of the House  appropriations subcommittee that funds the FDA.

After its initial report April 16, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released only one update, on May 10, about the outbreak of Salmonella Braenderup and the associated recall of more than 200 million shell eggs. It is the largest egg recall since 2010.

“I continue to be concerned with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) investigation and response to the Salmonella Braenderup outbreak related to shell eggs produced by Rose Acre Farms,” wrote the U.S. representative for Connecticut’s 3rd District.

“In my previous April 19 letter, I requested additional information about this investigation after FDA inspection reports revealed that the agency was aware of serious food safety violations at Rose Acre Farms’ Hyde County facility weeks before a recall was initiated. Despite the scale of this outbreak, there are still many unanswered questions related to the recall and the investigation.”

DeLauro co-chairs the Congressional Food Safety Caucus and is a member of the House  appropriations subcommittee that funds the FDA. The congresswoman has been a persistent critic of that agency’s efforts to protect the public from unsafe foods and medical products.

In relation to the FDA’s investigation into Rose Acre Farms and the outbreak, DeLauro is seeking responses to the following questions:

  •  What is the current situation regarding egg production at Rose Acre Farms’ Hyde County facility? If the facility is not presently producing eggs for the table market, what is the agency’s timeline for the facility to return to production?
  • Did the facility ever suspend operations? If so, what were the beginning and ending dates of the suspension, and what role did FDA play in this decision?
  •  What actions has FDA taken to resolve the unsanitary conditions at the Hyde County facility that led to the current outbreak? What assurances does the agency have that the facility will not succumb to the same numerous violations that have been documented in previous inspection reports?
  • Has FDA inspected any other facilities, across the nation, owned or operated by Rose Acre Farms? If so, what are the dates of those inspections, and will the agency commit to sharing those inspection reports?

A copy of the full letter can be found here.

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