SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (KTIV) -- Investigators continue to look for the source of salmonella contamination that has sparked the largest egg recall in recent history. Since the outbreak, people have called in question government oversight.
Now the F.D.A. says it plans to conduct hundreds of inspections of other egg producers to make sure they adhere to the new safety rules put in place after the outbreak. Though the F.D.A. doesn't think any other farms are involved, more test results are expected by week's end.
As inspectors try to "crack" the salmonella outbreak in eggs, many wonder about the standardsother egg companies are now held to.
You would be amazed at the amount of security at just one egg farm. Even before entering the facility today I had to dust my shoes with a chemical to keep disease outside from getting inside. But that's not all.
Millions of eggs are produced each day at Center Fresh Group Farms in Sioux Center, Iowa. Each egg nearly identical to the last. But it's what you can't see that worries egg producers nation wide.
"Just this farm will produce 1.2 million eggs a day and the company as a whole produces over 4 million. It takes a lot of effort to keep these eggs safe," says Forrest.
"The foundation of preventing an outbreak is a good bio-security program," says Center Fresh Group General Manager J.T. Dean.
And that program starts with pest control. According to the company things like rats and even flies are the biggest carriers of diseases like salmonella. So even the use of a back yard bug zapper can keep pests at bay.
"Keeping the farm looking clean, keeping vegetation under control, rocking areas, salmonella is in many places in the environment," says Dean.
Safety standards also include people control. Center Fresh doesn't allow visitors on the property unless they are pre-approved. Employees are kept home if they are sick and even discouraged to hunt fowl or keep birds in their home.
"We prevent contact from farm to farm, I myself manage multiple farms and I have to be 72 hours away from one farm before I can go to the next," says Dean.
And eggs are watched over too, as each one is tested by machines for internal quality. Then washed and kept cool until they are needed. But ultimately it all comes down to the consumer Dean says.
"Of course just like any food born illness, through cooking and proper handling eliminates that risk," says Dean.
These eggs will be turned into liquid and sold to make cakes and dressings across the country and Center Fresh Group will tell you, for eggs it's not the outside, but what's on the inside that counts.