The Iowa egg recall comes at a time when new federal safety rules have been put into place, aimed at preventing the type of salmonella outbreak in poultry and eggs that federal authorities are now investigating. The new egg rules include such mandates as farms testing eggs and facilities for salmonella, protecting feed and water from contamination and buying chicks and young hens from suppliers that monitor for salmonella.
Until recently, the authority to inspect facilities where eggs are processed had been the responsibility of USDA. The Food and Drug Administration had previously focused on eggs after they left those facilities. Under the new rules, FDA and USDA began to share responsibility to inspect egg manufacturers.
The new rules were put into place and enforcement began on July 9th of this year. The emergency coordinator for FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Sherri McGarry, says if the new rules had been in place earlier, the outbreak – could have been prevented.