Washington Food and Drug Administration officials say they have found positive samples of salmonella that link two Iowa farms to a massive egg recall.
Investigators found salmonella in chicken feed at Wright County Egg that was used by that farm and also Hillandale Farms, the FDA said. Authorities also found additional samples of salmonella in other locations at Wright County Egg. More than 550 million eggs from the two farms were recalled this month after they were linked to salmonella poisoning in several states.
One of the positive samples for salmonella was found in a feed ingredient sold to Wright County Egg from a third party supplier, Central Bi-Products, according to Wright County Egg, raising new questions as to whether other egg farms also could have received contaminated feed. The FDA could not confirm that the feed element came from a third party, but so far has said it doesn’t believe the salmonella outbreak will expand beyond the two farms.
Also Thursday, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there could now be as many as 1,470 illnesses linked to the outbreak, about 200 more than previously thought.
Sherri McGarry of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition said the salmonella found at Wright County Egg matches the fingerprint of the salmonella found in many of those who were sickened. She said the tests indicate that contaminated feed is a source of the outbreak but possibly not the only source.
McGarry and other FDA officials emphasized in a briefing for reporters that the agency’s investigation is ongoing, and that they do not yet know how the feed became contaminated.