US politicians are coming under pressure to increase regulation of the country’s largest egg producers after a federal inspection of two companies at the centre of a salmonella scare revealed breaches of basic hygiene.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspections of Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms, both in Iowa, found piles of chicken manure up to 2.5 metres (8ft) high beneath the hens’ cages. Employees crushed flies underfoot and live and dead maggots were seen in a manure pit.
At Wright County pigeons roosted in an air vent and wild birds flew in and out of the chicken house. Mice were observed at both farms, as were chickens which had escaped their cages and were seen moving between manure piles and caged areas.