An Oklahoma facility of Texas-based Mahard Egg Farm Inc. is on notice from the Food and Drug Administration for serious violations of federal regulations about Salmonella contamination prevention.
In an April 26 warning letter that FDA just recently made public, the agency warned owner Earnest A. Mahard III that the company’s response after an October 2016 inspection was inadequate. The Prosper, TX, company had 15 working days to respond. FDA has not reported whether the shell egg producer met that deadline.
“You should take prompt action to correct the violations cited in this letter,” FDA officials said in the warning letter to Mahard. “Failure to promptly correct these violations may result in FDA taking regulatory action without further notice, such as seizure, injunction, or the initiation of administrative enforcement procedures under 21 CFR 118.12(a).”
FDA inspectors noted a variety of violations during their Oct. 17-18, 2016, visit to the shell egg farm in Sulfur, OK, related to fly control, rodents, evidence of wild birds and animals in poultry houses, sheep too near poultry houses and improper Salmonella testing procedures.
“These violations render your shell eggs adulterated within the meaning of Section 402(a)(4) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. § 342(a)(4), in that they have been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have become contaminated with filth, or whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health,” according to the warning letter.
Among the violations cited by inspectors were:
- By swabbing the outside of the laying hen feeders and cages, you are not swabbing areas that come in contact with manure, and you are not swabbing the most probable Salmonella recovery areas.
- You failed to implement measures to prevent stray poultry, wild birds, cats, and other animals from entering poultry house. During the inspection, the investigators observed multiple signs of bird or rodent presence in and around the laying hens.
- Our investigators observed sheep feces directly outside non-populated houses which can be an attractant to flies and serve as potential harborage. Further, you stated that neither rodent traps nor bait stations are maintained on the exterior of the houses because a flock of sheep have access to the perimeter of the poultry houses.
- You confirmed the absence of a fly control program in the affidavit signed on Oct. 18, 2016.
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