The congressional panel investigating the recent recall of 550 million

eggs tied to a multistate Salmonella outbreak has again pushed back its food safety

hearing. The hearing is now scheduled for tomorrow at noon EST.


DeCoster, owner of Wright County Egg, the company at the center of the

outbreak, now linked to over 1,500 illnesses in almost two dozen states,

will testify at the hearing.  A company spokeswoman told the Des Moines Register last week

that DeCoster will fully cooperate with lawmakers, shutting down

speculation that he might plead the Fifth, as Stewart Parnell, owner of

the Peanut Corporation of America, did at a similar hearing in early


Parnell refused to answer any questions before the same

House Energy and Commerce subcommittee after his operation was

implicated in a nationwide recall of thousands of

Salmonella-contaminated peanut products tied to an outbreak that

sickened hundreds and killed 9.

DeCoster likely faces a tough

round of questioning from the panel.  In the days following the high

profile recall, dozens of media outlets have reported DeCoster’s long

history of violating health, safety, animal cruelty, and environmental


In its initial inspection of DeCoster’s Iowa egg

operation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration also found many of

DeCoster’s hen houses to be filthy and in violation of recently-enacted egg regulations.


egg recall hearing, now scheduled for Wednesday Sept. 22 at noon EST,

will also include testimony from Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for

foods at FDA, and Orlando Bethel, president of Hillandale Farms of

Iowa, which recalled 170 million of the 550 million total eggs recalled

in August. 

The FDA believes the Salmonella contamination at the

two farms is linked, but the agency has not made a determination on the

exact link. Shared feed and pallets are among the likely possibilities.

The agency reported finding rodents and other biosecurity problems, as

well as Salmonella bacteria at both operations.